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This disc features the curious pairing of three stalwarts of the piano repertoire – Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit and La Valse, and Debussy’s Suite Bergamasque – with a rarely heard work by Thomas Adès and Ronald Stevenson’s Fantasy on Peter Grimes. It is the two more unusual works that show the best side to Inon Barnatan’s playing: his shimmering tremolandi bring out the sense of foreboding in the Adès, which is dark, atmospheric and contemplative, and he creates an appropriate air of drama in the Fantasy. But in the better-known works, the Ravel in particular, his playing lacks sparkle and subtlety of colour. The phrase ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ comes to mind – perhaps Barnatan should have waited a little longer before attempting to put his stamp on these giants of the repertoire. There is occasional fuzziness in the recording, compounding the need for greater subtlety of touch.

FEMKE COLBORNE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2012 - ©Rhinegold Publishing