Beethoven, Liszt: Solo Piano Sophie Pacini Primary Artist
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The young pianist Sophie Pacini has been touted as the next big thing by {|Martha Argerich|}, something that should make you sit up and take notice. The evidence from this album is positive. The pairing of {|Beethoven|} and {|Liszt|}, the Viennese theme-worker and the exotic Parisian showman, is not that common today, but it certainly would have been in Liszt's own time, and Liszt might easily have played this exact program (and enjoyed the way Pacini plays it). Pacini opens with the Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 (Waldstein), given a detailed reading that isolates all the sixteenth notes and emphasizes the work's poetic qualities, as if to whet the appetite for the fireworks to come. And come they do, although this is rather poetic Liszt itself, not the keyboard-pounding stuff. Again, this is something with which Liszt would have had no problem. Pacini's strength lies in capturing the breadth of Liszt's conceptions, which would have seemed as amazing as his keyboard heroics to listeners of his own time. Sample the relatively rarely recorded transcription of the Overture to Wagner's Tannhäuser, which shows you something both of Liszt's pianism and of Pacini's. With fine sound from the Sendesaal Bremen, Warner Classics propels its young find to the front of the pack of new pianists.


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