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It’s a pity the documentation is so scant. Monica Chew designed the programme around In the Mists, Janáček’s outpouring of grief on the death of his daughter. Scriabin bookends the recital, the Five Preludes Op 16 offering an enigmatic way in. The language hardens for Bartók’s Op 18/Sz72 Studies. The Janáček, sadly, is not the most involved performance; bittersweet harmonic twists lose resonance. Again, in Messiaen’s ‘Le baiser de l’Enfant-Jésus’ the harmonies miss their innate spirituality. Scriabin’s Fourth Sonata, which closes the disc, misses the capricious nature of the finale and the fragrance of the first movement harmonies. On the plus side, the two Takemitsu pieces Rain Tree Sketch I and II are wonderfully delicate, like tissue. Nevertheless, this remains a missed opportunity of a fascinating programme.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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