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Entitled Fantasien Anna Tsybuleva’s enterprising recital reflects a pianist of rare gifts. A lover of ‘the absence of borders in our dreams’ (to quote her own moving and modest accompanying note), this winner of the 2015 Leeds Competition offers the strangeness, not to say eccentricity, of CPE Bach, the explosive whimsy of Beethoven’s Fantasie Op 77, the virtuosity of the Wanderer Fantasy (unique in Schubert) and the alternating hallucinatory and turbulent world of Brahms’ Op 116. Without forcing pace or sonority but with an easy mastery, Tsybuleva makes her purely musical concern in the Schubert clear in every bar, a far cry from other high-octane virtuoso performances, while in Brahms Intermezzi Nos 4-6 her inwardness and sense of beauty are unforgettable. Not since Murray Perahia’s triumph in 1972 has Leeds had a winner of this musical poise and calibre.

BRYCE MORRISON Read the full review on Agora Classica

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