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Leonne Lewis
Clavier, May 2000

"Daniel Pollack was thrust into the public eye in 1958, as prize-winner in the inaugural Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition. Since that time the Los Angeles-based pianist has become an international recognized artist adjudicating at such events as the 1998 Tchaikovsky Competition and teaching at the University of Southern California. Pollack remains first and foremost a formidable pianist, displaying his virtuosic skills in American composer Samuel Barber's Complete Published Solo Piano Music on a recent Naxos American Classics Series C.D.

"The Barber Collection combines such charming offerings as a 15-measure 'To My Steinway' with 'Three Sketches' and the introspective atmosphere of 'Interlude 1.' While it is rewarding to explore some of Barber's neglected works, the well known Sonata, Op. 26, stands out as Pollack's best performance on the disc.

"Pollack conveys strong personal convictions in a romantic spirit and conveys the dramatic character of the music with muscular lyricism and high-octane momentum.

"There is also an abundance of detail, good taste, rhythmic acuity, and excitement in this recording, which seems to have unlimited reserves of power and vitality, and solid intensity in the closing pages of the 'Fuga.'

"As a technician capable of volcanic effects, Pollack plays with directness and full-bodied sound. "Nocturne," Op. 33 and "Ballade," Op. 46 can sound heavy handed, but they convey plenty of warmth, beautiful voicing, and nuances of phrasing. 'Excursions,' Op. 20 is a charming mixture of American musical idioms, that Pollack plays with sophistication. Barber's 'Souvenirs,' Op. 28 combines kaleidoscopic sentimentality and humorous joie de vivre, and Pollack persuades the listener with a high degree of élan in the 'Schottische,' and 'Hesitation Tango.' The depth of Barber's piano compositions and the vibrancy of Pollack's playing make this recording a welcome addition to any library."

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International

"Pollack is fully the equal of the demands of this music. He has imagination, delicacy and steel piston-stroke power in the sonata - a work I have never really warmed to though the chill is lifted by some Rachmaninov-style romance in the finale. No doubt he would find worthy comparison with Horowitz, Van Cliburn and Joanna MacGregor in the Sonata but heard here one can hardly imagine the sonata better presented."

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