Although the selection is labelled "pioneering", it opens with the much- hackneyed second Hungarian Rhapsody, a work that Kentner learnt just for these sessions. Annotator Bryan Crimp tells us that the first "masters" were damaged and that Kentner had to re-record the second 78rpm side - though the actual playing is anything but a dutiful re-visit.
More impressive still is Kentner's narrative rendition of Benediction de Dieu dans la solitude, luminous in every detail, even through a veil of 78rpm surface noise; or the thoughtful first Polonaise, where - to paraphrase Lambert - Kentner displays both brilliance and "physical ease".
The other works programmed are the rarely-heard Berceuse (in its second version) and the second Ballade - a pianistic tone-poem that Kentner surveys with both virtuosity and finesse. His is an inspired nobility to contrast with, say, Horowitz's Mephistophelean rage. There's room for both, but I suspect that, in the long run, Kentner's performances will prove the more durable.Reuse content