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Jed Distler, August 2000

"Although Stravinsky composed at the piano and incorporated the instrument to brilliant effect in many orchestral works, he produced relatively little original solo piano music. Most of it is here, though the brilliant Op. 7 Etudes are conspicuous by their absence. Surely their difficulties pose no problems for Peter Hill... Hill's meticulous cool and linear clarity...are just what the neo-classic Serenade in A, Les cinq doigts, and 1924 Sonata require. He calmly shakes the cubistic Piano Rag Music by its scruff, and his poker-faced way with the Tango (really a tango within a tango) allows the music's half-hearted parody to fizzle out on its own terms. As with his seminal Second Viennese School recital for Naxos, Peter Hill's piano is gorgeously reproduced. Warmly recommended."

Robert Cummings

"Stravinsky's output for piano was rather small...Maybe this inexpensive, well-played Naxos CD will advance their cause. This recording closes with the famous Petrouchka pieces (1921), and Hill delivers them with the requisite spirit of playfulness and mischief...Hill really takes well to the Sonata's (1924) neo-Classical nature, infusing just the right amount of energy in the driving first movement, delineating both voices in this two-part affair with a deft ear for detail...Hill is also quite compelling in the other two movements of this 10-minute work. Hill renders the delightful Eight Easy Pieces (1920-21) in an appropriately straightforward manner, allowing the charm of these miniatures to come through. Piano Rag Music (1919) is delivered with delicious humor and a brilliant sense for rhythm. Tango (1940), Chorale (1920), and Serenade (1925) are also played with a keen feeling that captures the composer's more subtle side. Hill has received much acclaim for his performances and recordings of music by Messiaen, Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern. Thus, he is quite at home in the 20th-century keyboard realm, as this disc presents further testament. The sound is fine; the notes are illuminating. Another Naxos CD whose price and artistry make this purchase a high priority."

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