Igor Stravinsky's colorful ballets are his most popular works, followed by his concertos, symphonies, and choral compositions, but his pieces for solo piano have a small following, due as much to infrequent performances as to their modest size and narrow scope. Jenny Lin's 2014 album on Steinway & Sons addresses this lack of attention, and her attractive performances make a strong case for their inclusion on more recital programs. The Piano Sonata (1924), the Etudes (1908), and the Serenade in A (1925) are the most ambitious in their technical demands and musical development, while the remaining pieces, such as the composer's piano transcription of the Ragtime, for 11 instruments (1918), the Polka and the Valse from Trois pièces faciles (1915), the Tango (1925), the Piano-Rag Music (1919), and the Circus Polka (1942), are miniatures that are important mostly for their wit, spontaneity, and color. To close, Lin plays Guido Agosti's virtuosic transcription of the Danse infernal, Berceuse, and Finale from The Firebird, which undeniably adds excitement to a program that at times feels constrained by the brevity of the selections and the dryness of Stravinsky's neo-Classical style. The recorded sound is clean and close-up, so the piano has credible presence with the right amount of resonance from the studio acoustics.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Four Etudes, Op. 7|
|Serenade in A|
|Two Sketches of a Sonata|