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Rhodes’ finest moments come in Chopin: he commendably follows the MS staccato opening for the Op 49 Fantaisie, and prolongs the musical argument masterly. The Polonaise- Fantaisie is the ideal bed-partner; Rhodes conjures perfect trills towards the close.

His Beethoven is less exalted, the Op 110 an interpretation in the making, yet to be fully formed but not devoid of insights (one can feel the link to the A-flat Fugue from Book I of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, for example). If Rhodes’ Rachmaninov could be of darker hue, Yvar Mikhashoff’s arrangement of Puccini’s ‘O mio babbino caro’ is rather nicely done. Some might find the Bach WTC Book I Prelude in C major rather indulgent and over-pedalled.

A stimulating yet somewhat uneven recital.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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