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David Trendell
International Record Review, August 2000

"This disc completes Martin Roscoe's survey of he piano music of Szymanowski for Naxos and contains many gems. Principal among these are the 12 Etudes, Op. 33. Composed in 1916, they date from the same period as such masterpieces as the Third Symphony, the First Quartet and the First Violin Concerto and share with them the same luscious chromaticism. Each Etude is little more than a precious morceau, but they make for a very satisfying whole. There are some gorgeous moments along the way, such as the outrageous blues chord at the end of the first, the dazzling passagework of the faster movements and the echt-Szymanowski sensualism of the penultimate Etude. He really is one of the supreme composers of pianistic colour (think also of the Métopes) and Roscoe conveys this very clearly. His performances of the faster Etudes are dazzling, the intricate passagework always clear, especially when it is soft. In the louder moments, he is never too hard, which given Szymanowski's propensity for dense textures, is a major plus point. ... Highly recommended."

Jan Smaczny
BBC Music Magazine, January 2000

"These exquisite miniatures by Szymanowski explore, along with even more experimental Etudes, a highly individual harmonic and textural world. For greater approachability, try the Four Polish Dances of 1926 from Szymanowski's last phase. The early Prelude and Fugue and Piano Sonata, Opus 8, lean more obviously on Chopin, though coloured by Liszt, Reger and Scriabin. Even so, such lyrically rewarding works could hardly be termed immature - just try the middle movements of the Sonata. In this third volume of the complete piano music, Martin Roscoe continues to show himself perfectly attuned to Szymanowski's wide-ranging music. He takes the early works seriously and provides one of the most convincingly "symphonic" readings of the Etudes I have ever heard."

Jed Distler

"Roscoe's full-bodied sonority and impeccable technique lovingly serve Szymanowski's kaleidoscopic, richly communicative keyboard idiom. His grand treatment of the 13th through 16th Op. 50 Mazurkas points up the music's sensual textures and rustic melodicism. A marvelous disc."

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