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This discs marks Swiss-born Chinese virtuoso Melodie Zhao’s concerto recording debut. Both concertos highlight her technical prowess at the keyboard and offer some finely nuanced playing, which has spirit and poetry. Her views of each work, however, are relatively pedestrian. Tempi are broad throughout, an indication of a middle-of-the-road approach and lack of impulsion. In No 1, for example, although running in at just over 34’, a minute faster than Beatrice Rana (Warner Classics, reviewed last issue), she lacks her rival’s insights, and lags behind Sudbin’s brilliant account (BIS) and Hough’s (Hyperion). The latter played both versions of No 2’s second movement and his account is wholly convincing; Zhao cannot quite match his élan. Claves’ sound is excellent.

GUY RICKARDS Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2016 - ©Rhinegold Publishing