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In comparison with the Cervantes above, this Raff disc looks completely nondescript in presentation. It reveals hidden depths to the curious, though. This is a re-release of a 1971 recording (originally on Genesis LP, GS1009), and it is good to see these performances re-entering the catalogue. The Suite (one of seven for piano) is fascinating, opening with a Busoni-like density of texture before ceding to Bachian transparency. Adrian Ruiz is a superb pianist who can tackle rapid flights of fantasy as easily as he can Raff’s evocations of Mendelssohn (the variations of the second movement), or even the infernal side of Liszt (as in the March). The Sonata carries huge difficulties, and one can on occasion hear Ruiz struggling, but to balance this, he evinces a complete grasp of the work’s structure. The echt-Raff textures of the brief second movement are superbly delineated, while the interior Larghetto is marvellously shaped. Recommended.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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