Patricia Kopatchinskaja

Kopatchinskaja Plays Beethoven, Ravel, Bartók & Say

(CD - Naïve #V 5146)

Review by

With a repertoire heavily centered on twentieth and twenty first century composers, Patricia Kopatchinskaja definitely does not play your grandmother's Beethoven. Actually, the first-movement Presto of her performance of the Op. 47 sonata is downright startling at first. Extremely aggressive and energetic, Kopatchinskaja's playing lives up to her stated desire to perform Beethoven in a more "excessive manner." Despite the initially jarring verticality of her playing, the spontaneity and excitement that she brings to the "Kreutzer" Sonata is quickly engaging and infectious. The remainder of the program is more in line with Kopatchinskaja's affinity for twentieth century works: Ravel's G major Sonata, Bartók's Romanian Folk Dances, and Fazil Say's Op. 7 Sonata. This far-reaching program is greatly enhanced by Kopatchinskaja's brilliant technique, near-flawless intonation, crystal-clear tone, impressive dynamic palate, and keen sense of pacing. Her musical understanding of the scores at hand is profound and instantly captures the listener's interest and attention, holding it for the duration of the album. Dialogue between Kopatchinskaja and pianist (and composer) Fazil Say is equally engaging and dynamic, filled with controlled spontaneity. Naïve's sound is wonderfully clear and well-balanced. This is absolutely an album worth considering for listeners in the market for some intense, take-no-prisoners playing.

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