Frederic Chiu has established a solid reputation as an interpreter of the works of Sergey Prokofiev. By researching and recording the complete works for Harmonia Mundi, he is well on his way to becoming the world's leading authority on the composer. Chiu's insightful liner notes reveal much of his understanding of Prokofiev's work, and his ongoing reevaluation entails historical, political, and psychological factors to better grasp his enigmatic subject. Yet it is what Chiu does with the music that matters most. In these transcriptions, Chiu has an ear for the original pieces, and he re-creates much of the orchestral color in his playing. Opening volume four of the Complete Music for Solo Piano with the suite of pieces from Romeo and Juliet, Chiu uses everything at his disposal to get the desired sounds. His orchestration at the piano is bold and original, reminiscent at times of legendary keyboard colorist Jorge Bolet. Chiu follows with two suites from Cinderella, lighter fare with a narrower range of color, but Chiu's playing is just as exquisite. Though they are the least significant selections, the three pieces from War and Peace are played with distinction and energy. Harmonia Mundi's sound is clear and covers the full audio range.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Romeo and Juliet, pieces (10) for piano, Op. 75|
|Pieces (3) for piano (from the ballet Cinderella), Op. 95|
|Pieces (10) for piano (from the ballet Cinderella), Op. 97|
|Pieces (3) for piano (from the opera War & Peace), Op. 96|