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James Harrington
American Record Guide, March 2014

…Kagan’s…pianism, along with Primakov, makes this one of the more enjoyable releases to come my way in a long time. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Mortimer H. Frank
Fanfare, January 2014

Hearing this release—each of its three works superbly performed—provides a two-fold impact. For one thing, it offers an overview of Ries’s growth as a composer. It also reminds us that a composer need not be a Beethoven or a Schubert to create arresting works. Throughout the three pieces the performances are stylish, with tempos that are aptly animated while never sounding rushed and lyrical without becoming static. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2013

You can picture the teacher sat next to the childhood pupil as they enjoy playing the four short movements of the C major Sonatina pretending it is grown-up music. Taught the piano by Beethoven, it was only with Ferdinand Ries’s move to England in 1813 that, at the age of twenty-nine, he was to find fame and fortune as a keyboard virtuoso at a time when there was a dearth of home-grown pianists. The piano dominated his output with eight surviving concertos and a collection of Sonatas and Sonatinas, of which this is the sixth volume in a complete recorded cycle. It contains music for four hands at one piano, and after that opening Sonatina, we come to more weighty sonatas including his final four hand work, the opus 160 in A major. Originally called the Grande Sonata, it is an imposing score that takes its inspiration as much from Schubert as from Beethoven. It allows both pianists to flex their fingers in an extended opening movement…Ries sends his audience home with a happy finale. The short Sonata in B flat is pleasing…The American pianist, Susan Kagan, and her American-trained Russian colleague, Vassily Primakov, play the music with obvious delight and ample technique for the A major Sonata. Good quality studio sound. © David’s Review Corner





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