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North Carolina-based, Kiev-trained Lisitsa, whose partners in chamber music include Hilary Hahn and Ida Haendel, is accorded a fine recorded sound here. The programme is brave, taking in two pieces that have been recorded by a roster of great pianists (the ‘Appassionata’ and Kinderszenen). The Beethoven is matter-of- fact, lacking in momentum and structure. There is no doubting Lisitsa’s technique, but she fails to maintain tension; similarly, she does not convey the mystery of the central movement and deadens its rays of light. The finale finds her lacking in forward thought, so the descent into the coda is robbed of import. The Schumann is a strange mix of sweetness and narration against a relentless, murdered Glückes genug that does not add up to a whole experience. The rarely recorded Thalberg/ Rossini plays to her strengths and is the best on offer here. But the Liszt is miscalculated, with a pounded opening that is just unpleasant.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2013 - ©Rhinegold Publishing