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Kirill Gerstein possesses a formidable technique, but his Mussorgsky is quirky and he frequently flounders trying to find the right atmospheres. Gnomus is a case in point; Bydlo is heavy, but it is also ungainly and crass; and the Unhatched Chicks seem to have little life about them. The sag of tension at the outset of The Great Gate of Kiev is the final nail in this performance’s coffin. Richter (live, Sofia) really has nothing to worry about. The Schumann is much better: the clear grandeur of the opening gestures, the superb finger dexterity and the feeling that each movement slots into a whole make this a far superior performance.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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