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The music of Ignacy Paderewski (1860- 1941) has fallen from grace somewhat in modern times, although there is no shortage of historical recordings available. Kevin Kenner redresses the balance with the finest modern performance of the 1903 Sonata, a staggering piece, recorded like the rest of the album on Paderewski’s own 1925 Steinway. For the first movement, think Liszt but with more block chords; Paderewski counters this muscularity with a tender slow movement, while Kenner crowns the performance with a magnificently impassioned yet fizzing finale.

Preceding the Sonata are nine miniatures beginning with a daringly slow Sarabande Op 14/2, which begins a crescendo of energy over the free-flowing Intermezzo polacca to the Cracovienne fantastique. Kenner sparkles in the Scarlatti-like Caprice. An eye-opening winner of a disc.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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