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Classical - Released May 17, 2013 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Record of the Month - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année - Exceptional Sound Productions - Hi-Res Audio
Fans of Catalonian miniaturist Frederic Mompou are used to looking in out-of-the-way places for his music: small labels, encores of recitals. Yet here he is, presented in full major-label splendor by Sony Classical, with a substantial hard-bound booklet, performed by Russian pianist Arcadi Volodos. It may be that confusing times are good for the reputation of this most inward of composers, but whatever the reason, this recording will introduce a lot of people to Mompou's fascinating world. His music is essentially a compressed version of the Impressionist language, with dashes of Satie's elliptical mode and perhaps the mysticism of Scriabin. Mompou goes further in the directions of both dissonance and diatonic harmony than did the Impressionists, and his use of simple harmony as a kind of color effect is unique in the entire concert music repertory. Some people are completely puzzled by Mompou, most of whose music proceeds at the same basic slow-to-moderate tempo. Try Volodos out! He has the knack of getting strong profiles of individual phrases while still keeping the whole thing at a sort of glimmering level. You can get a foothold with the Musica callada XV (track 20), which seems to take Chopin's Prelude in E minor, Op. 28/4, as a point of departure. From its opening figure the listener is drawn into Mompou's murky yet gentle world, which some filmmaker ought to exploit. The difficult-to-translate Musica callada (¡callate!, be quiet, mothers say to their children; "Music that Has Become Quiet" is close) is Mompou's greatest work; in it, his extremely concise language, almost completely eschewing motivic development, is brought to a fascinating extreme. Volodos has the control to get something like the last bars of Schubert's Winterreise out of the music here: it really does seem to exist on the lip of nothingness. Strongly recommended for all, and really something of a milestone.

Solo Piano - Released April 7, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Record of the Month - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik

Classical - Released October 5, 1999 | Sony Classical

Classical - Released January 25, 2010 | Sony Classical

Russian pianist Arcadi Volodos has been known for high-powered Liszt performances and for gee-whiz transcriptions of works like Mozart's Rondo alla turca that seem to add an impossible collection of polyphonic lines to the music. All that could have been expected from this 2003 recording of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23, was another big, powerful interpretation to join the others already out there. What Volodos, Ozawa, and the Berlin Philharmonic produced instead was something completely unexpected: a revisionist reading of the concerto and of a group of short Rachmaninov solo works to round out the album. Volodos deploys full power only sparingly, makes every note crystal clear, and finds as much emotion in the work's quiet spaces as in its big themes. Jump into the first movement and hear how the tempo varies and yet fits into larger overall arcs, with exquisite breaths being taken at the movement's section-dividing modulations. One point in favor of Volodos' delicate, sensitive reading is that it accords with the pianos that Tchaikovsky would have known, which didn't have the bruising power of a mid-20th century Steinway. Volodos uses the Rachmaninov pieces to expand on various aspects of his formidable technique, and these works too have a very nice lightness in his hands. Sony's engineering here is also unusually good; working in the Berlin Philharmonie, it brings the listener close to Volodos and gets the details of his passagework without being obnoxious about it. Strongly recommended, especially for those who think they've heard it all with this warhorse concerto.

Classical - Released January 18, 2010 | Sony Classical

Classical - Released March 25, 2002 | Sony Classical

Classical - Released July 1, 1997 | Sony Classical

Classical - Released January 15, 2016 | Sony Classical

Classical - Released January 13, 2015 | Sony Classical