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Recent Michigan DMA graduate Nicholas Susi is a pianist who boldly presents a programme of contrasts and connections in a recording that is clinical almost to a fault. Concentrating on the music of Italy, eight Scarlatti sonatas act as a connecting thread. The Rossini/Ginzburg Largo al factotum is also a mainstay of Italian music, and this is a brave piece to include – particularly as Susi sounds careful in comparison to Ginzburg’s own 1951 recording. In keeping with that impression, occasionally Susi’s Scarlatti can seem dull (Kk379); but when he is fully in alignment, it works.

Good to have Sciarrino’s fantastical Prelude, while Berio’s Luftklavier starts like Debussy before refracting into other worlds; the D minor Scarlatti that follows (Kk141) buzzes with energy, by far the finest offering by that composer.

This is a chance to hear some wide- ranging repertoire superbly performed and intelligently presented on what appears to be a debut disc.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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