Peter Donohoe

Tippet: Piano Sonatas Nos. 1-3

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There's only one real problem with these brilliantly performed and sensitively interpreted recordings of Tippett's Piano Sonatas No. 1 through No. 3 by Peter Donohoe, to wit, where the heck is the Sonata No. 4? There have been many recordings of the Sonata No. 1 over the years from John Ogdon's to Murray Perahia's, several recordings of the Sonata No. 2 from John Ogdon's to Paul Crossley's, a handful of recordings of the Sonata No. 3 from Crossley's to Nicholas Unwin's, and exactly two recordings of the Sonata No. 4 from, once again, Crossley's to Unwin's. From the evidence of this recording, Donohoe would have been an ideal performer for the Sonata No. 4. His Sonata No. 1 has drive and power. His Sonata No. 2 has depth and intensity. His Sonata No. 3 has color and concentration. Had it been included, there is no reason to think that Donohoe's Sonata No. 4 would have been any less impressive. And, at about 25 minutes, there's no reason why the Sonata No. 4 could not have been included on this 53-minute disc. Aside from that, however, this is a wonderful release that should please fans of Tippett's music and perhaps make converts among the unbelievers. Naxos' sound is clear enough, but too recessed.

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