CLASSICAL: NEW RELEASES

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Schnittke Piano Music

Boris Berman

(Chandos)

A nice collection of piano works, forming a fitting tribute to the late polystylist composer. Berman includes the Sonatas Nos 2 and 3, both composed after Schnittke's stroke in 1985. The music contemplates the confrontation between personal awareness and impersonal fate. Berman executes the works with dynamic control and breathtaking fluency. HHHH

Schnittke Complete Works for Cello and Piano. Alexander Ivashkin/ Irina Schnittke (Chandos)

And it's the two Cello Sonatas which are explored here. Ivashkin and Schnittke's widow do the Sonata No 1 proud, building to a mesmeric final Largo. More enigmatic is the second sonata, but also included here is the whimsical Epilogue for cello, piano and tape, transcribed from the ballet music to Peer Gynt. A collector's item. HHHH

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