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There are surprisingly few versions of Lutosławski’s early 1934 Piano Sonata, with Gloria Cheng a fine alternative. Kuokl, best known for his excellent Martinů, plays his own edition of the Sacher Foundation manuscript, which includes among other differences 16 missing bars from the published score. He gives a fine, variegated performance of this delicious, multi-faceted piece. At times Debussian, at times Ravelian, sometimes raising the fragrance to Szymanowski levels, this is a finely recorded, highly sensitive performance. The prismatic slow movement leads to a finale which could hold more ecstasy.

The many miniatures are exquisite, including a quirky Bukoliki and two world premiere recordings; Virginia Rossetti joins Koukl for two four-handed miniatures. Koukl’s collection now leads the field, ahead of Corinna Simon’s ‘complete’ disc.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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