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Alan Becker
American Record Guide, November 2011

South African pianist Ben Schoeman gets through the sonata in slightly less time and, aided by a deeply resonant Bösendorfer, gives greater weight to the contrasts between its sections. Those sections are not separately tracked, so you must listen to the music in its entirety. Although he takes the fugal section at a more deliberate pace, it builds effectively enough.

Schoeman offers more than 20 minutes of additional music. He includes three selections from the Années de Pelerinage—one of them is the ‘Dante Sonata’, given a powerful presentation with much of the Lisztian rhetoric placed in proper perspective, and considerably less bothersome than usual. The other two pieces are given in spectacular lyrical and colorful splashes of sound that captivate and thrill.





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