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Following on from her Earl Wild record for Chandos, Xiayin Wang proves herself a fine Rachmaninov interpreter. The interpretively demanding Corelli Variations are despatched with a fine sense of style. Most notable is the way Wang maintains the backbone of integrity of the theme throughout the piece; she also manages to convey the fascinating variety well (try the Agitato, Variation 13). Her account of Op 16 is up there with Ashkenazy’s 2005 Decca recording. Wang has all the requisite sensitivity, finding plenty of darkness as well as virtuosity. She also honours the contrasts in the Études-tableaux, sustaining the stasis of the third (the longest of the set) and playing stunningly in the sixth (Allegro con fuoco). The recording quality is up to Chandos’s high standards, and sterling booklet notes from David Nice, an authority on Russian music, crown an impressive achievement.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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