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Till Fellner offers a brilliant, inspired coupling of Liszt’s ‘Suisse’ book with Beethoven’s Op 111. Fellner’s ‘Wallenstadt’ is magnificent, flowing joyfully yet at same time melding late Liszt with the mistiness of the Impressionists. ‘Pastorale’ is not the innocent movement it is often made out to be, here a masterclass in sonority and veiled mystery. ‘Orage’ is superb, fiery yet also intelligent; but ‘Vallée d’Obermann’ is not quite profound. Throughout, Fellner offers a sort of revelling in the piano sound reminiscent of Schiff. He rightly conjures a more severe world for Beethoven’s final sonata. Fellner’s mastery is in the second movement, unfolding beautifully but with decidedly varied terrain. The path to Elysium, for him, is no easy one.

These live performances are caught well in ECM’s recording; documentation is as slick as one has come to expect from this label.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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