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LPs: ALLA BREVE

January 13, 1985

LISZT: SONATA IN B MINOR, ETC. Andrea Lucchesini, piano. Angel 38099 (digital). PIANO WORKS, VOL. 3. Jorge Bolet, piano. London 410 155-1 (digital). To the young and old pianist alike, Liszt's Sonata appears as one of the summits of 19th-Century music, but the methods they use to scale its heights must perforce be different. Andrea Lucchesini, an 18-year old Italian who has won prizes with his Liszt Sonata and offers it on his debut recording, flashes a ready smile and storms the music. The result shows off his abundant technique. He underscores many of Liszt's ingenious melodic transformations and moves his listener through deftly felt pathos. Yet in sum this performance displays a talented young man whose fingers are more advanced than his sensibility. Jorge Bolet, nearly 70 when he taped this London recording in September, 1982, knows that majesty is the tenor of Liszt's metaphor and dry-eyed angularity the best vehicle for expressing it. Bolet's account stands up well beside the finest of recent recordings--Arrau's and Brendel's, for example. Both second sides are collections of some of Liszt's smaller pieces, none of them compelling.

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