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Replacing Beethoven’s Opus 110 with 101 is a novel alternative to a more familiar sequence. For his mentor Tatyana Nikolayeva, Lugansky was ‘the next one’ and as his sizeable discography – chiefly of the Romantics – tells us he a pianist of exceptional power and eloquence. But late Beethoven poses a radically different challenge, and here there is a sense that Lugansky’s unfailing mastery and musical honesty are also limitations. His playing may despise artifice but it fails to achieve a transcendence at the heart of late Beethoven. You miss a greater sense of light and shade, the chiaroscuro of Kempffor the sense of wonder achieved by Solomon in the opening of Opus 101. All these performances are admirable as far as they go, but they do not go far enough.

BRYCE MORRISON Read the full review on Agora Classica


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