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Tzimon Barto’s repertoire on disc is commendably wide, ranging from Bach and Rameau through Haydn, Brahms and Pfitzner to Gershwin, Messiaen and many others. Now he has turned his attention to Ives. Composed in 1911-15 and revised again in 1919 and 1947, the Concord Sonata is arguably Ives’ greatest work, a compositional statement at once intimate and public. Barto’s interpretation is masterly in its grasp of the sonata’s range of expression and its idiosyncratic structures – really a cycle of four fantasias inspired by the writings of Emerson, Hawthorne, the Alcotts and Thoreau. But at 56 minutes, this is a very expansive account, 12 minutes behind the best modern recording, by Philip Mead (Metier). Capriccio’s sound gives the piano room to bloom and catches the brief offstage viola and flute contributions beautifully.

GUY RICKARDS Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2016 - ©Rhinegold Publishing