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Classical - Released October 26, 2018 | Piano Classics

Booklet

Classical - Released April 8, 2016 | Steinway and Sons

Booklet
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The U.S.-based Steinway & Sons label has specialized in piano recitals, thematically organized and recorded with high quality. The idea is to re-create and update the programs that might have been heard during the golden age of American pianism, and indeed it's easy to imagine the first two-thirds of this recital by Russian pianist Andrey Gugnin being played around 1950. There is Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition along with two other works bearing the word "pictures" or "images" in the title. As it happens, those other works aren't really counterparts to the Mussorgsky, but they're worth hearing. Jacques Ibert's Petite Suite en 15 images are intermittently programmatic; this suite is something of a late neoclassic homage to Couperin, with dances and little portraits mixed together, and Gugnin gives a precise reading that makes a good case for its revival. The Mussorgsky itself is made to fit into its small-recital surroundings here; if you're buying the album for that work alone, sample the opening "Great Gate of Kiev" (track 16) for a taste of the technically masterful, but not ebullient, performance. The final Six Pictures for Piano is not really a set of pictures at all; it's a contemporary virtuoso work that fits Gugnin's technician's style, and you may be fine with that or may feel that another more relevant work could have been chosen. The Sono Luminus studio sound is clear and entirely appropriate to Gugnin's playing. Recommended, like most of the well-considered Steinway catalog.

Classical - Released July 22, 2011 | Delos

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