The 24 Preludes and the last Sonatas of Dmitri Kabalevsky figure amongst the finest piano works of the 1940s, ranking with those of Prokofiev and Shostakovich. The first Sonata is reminiscent of the first Scriabin, whereas the second and the third are ‘war pieces’ with frankly virtuosic pages. Gilels, to whom the work was dedicated, was the first to play the second (1946), Yakov Zak, his senior and alter ego, newly rediscovered on PRD350054, the third in 1947. Christoph Deluze has become well known for his interpretation of the 24 Preludes: here he groups the 3 Sonatas and confirms their impressive stature, their intense lyricism and rythmic vigour. A demonstrative programme for those fond of spectacular and symphonic piano.
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