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Findlay Cockrell is a pianist of vast experience who has taught for half a century in Albany, NY. A clever disc title here (both composers were born in 1810) and to cement the link, Cockrell includes the ‘Chopin’ movement from Carnaval on the Schumann disc. The Chopin disc features an example from each genre that composer wrote in, including the Second Ballade (dedicated to Schumann). Schumann’s Fantasiestücke gets a terrific performance, perfectly weighted.

Paramount in Cockrell’s playing is his faultless cantabile, so vital to both these composers. The performance of Schumann’s Second Sonata is magnificent, a worthy adjunct to Argerich’s DG account. The Chopin disc is no less impressive: best of all are the desolate Op 45 Prélude, and the Polonaise-Fantaisie, magisterial in its mystery. Excellent recording quality.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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