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Proms Issue 2005
“Anderszewski out-classes his rivals in his Szymanowski recital”
“Here Anderszewski turns his attention away from well-tried classics of the repertoire to Szymanowski and to 'an aura of extreme fin de siècle opulence' (John Ogdon). Szymanowski's neurotically questing imagination was fired by his travels in Africa and the Mediterranean; and leaving earlier influences of Chopin (the Op 1 Preludes) and a lengthy dalliance with Reger and Richard Strauss (the Second Piano Sonata) far behind, he turned to impressionism, to Debussy and the glittering, mosaic-like structures he inherited from Scriabin. Yet despite such influences his music achieves a unique fragrance and character and both Masques and Métopes shed a new and scintillating light on the myths of ancient Greece. Such music calls for a pianist of unlimited, superfine virtuosity and a complete temperamental affinity for such exoticism, and in Anderszewski it has surely found its ideal champion. Under his astonishing mind and fingers the chains of trills at the climax of 'Schéhérazade' take on an incandescence that transcends their Scriabinesque origins and Anderszewski's razor-sharp clarity and stylistic assurance make you hang on every one of the composer's teeming notes. Here and in Métopes every hyper-nervous fluctuation of mood is judged to an uncanny perfection and in the Third Sonata, where Szymanowski returns from his richly programmatic sources to a more objective if no less intricate utterance, every aspect of the music's refined and energetic life is held in a blazing light from which it is impossible to escape. Visceral and superhuman, all these performances have been superbly recorded.”
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