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All the pieces in this new release from Italian pianist Gabriele Leporatti are linked in some way to Vienna, though his intelligent programming is perhaps compromised for English speakers by German-only notes.

Beethoven’s Rondo Op 51/2 is an early work, played with great charm by Leporatti in a low-pedal performance. Trills feel too dry and the final two chords are unnecessarily violent. Schubert’s Sonata D958 is given a more finely graded reading that balances power and supplication. The excellent finale boasts some lovely touches – listen to the independence of voices in the right hand – but rather loses its way.

The Strauss piece is less than three minutes long but fascinating: ‘Träumerei’ from the Op 9 Stimmungsbilder. Although an early work, it exhibits a characteristic Straussian harmonic twist. The Waltz, so associated with Vienna, forms the basis of Ravel’s magnificently mist- to-blazing-light La valse. This is Leporatti’s finest moment, the work’s momentum beautifully tracked. Despite some caveats, therefore, a most worthwhile disc.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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