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This is a hugely worthwhile project that celebrates the music of Russian composers who were forced to operate from outside of their homeland. This first volume centres on music composed in the last years of Imperial Russia. Prokofiev’s fascinating aphorisms, the Visions fugitives Op 22, are tiny gems. Karpeyev’s are impeccably chosen and presented.

Unbelievably, Medtner’s music still needs championing. Good to have the Sonata-Ballade (1913/4) in a performance rivalling that of Hamelin’s. Karpeyev’s grasp of the structure of the piece is remarkable, enabling a real sense of flow and beauty. A set of Grechaninov miniatures (Opp 78 and 61) is cherishable, particularly the charming Caprice. It is fascinating too to have Rachmaninov’s darker side in an arrangement from the All-Night Vigil. The Trois mouvements de Petrouchka is a brave finale, ceding to Polllini, Kissin and Wang.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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