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Alexandra Conunova is highly attuned to this music and she has a fabulous pianist who understands the dark undertones of the first movement of the first sonata. Her shadowy yet beautifully haunting sound in the Andante is remarkable (she plays a 1735 Santo Serafino), the scampering finale driven by infernal energy. Michail Lifits again excels, and the rapport between the two is remarkable.

The Scherzos of both sonatas offer high points, angular, spiky and, in the case of the second sonata, taken at quite a lick. The second sonata is Op 94a because it also exists in a version for flute. Cornunova’s tone is perfectly blanched at the opening, thin yet not insubstantial. Perhaps just a touch more energy to the Second’s finale would have sealed the deal; this is the only place that the performance sounded studio-bound. The recording is excellent.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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