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Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb International, September 2017

This is a fine introduction to Zara Levina’s music. True, the studio recording is hardly the last word in romantic opulence but it’s not chilly either and is more than serviceable. The production as a whole makes a good case for both works and composer, and for that the soloist, Ariane Matiakh and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin should take great credit. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Barry Forshaw
Classical CD Choice, July 2017

Hardly undiscovered masterpieces but bracing pieces that are well worth the attention of the more enterprising listener. © 2017 Classical CD Choice Read complete review



Jim Svejda
Fanfare, July 2017

The French conductor Ariane Matiakh proves an ideal partner and inspires the Berlin Radio Symphony to play in a way that recalls its glory days under Eugen Jochum and Sergiu Celibidache. To call this an important release would be a gross understatement. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Jack Sullivan
American Record Guide, July 2017

Pianist Maria Lettberg handles all the challenges skillfully, with big technique, rich tone, and a generous sense of fantasy; the orchestra plays with lushness and abandon. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, March 2017

Our soloist, Swedish pianist Maria Lettberg, is devoted to unearthing forgotten treasures, and has already released CDs with the complete solo piano works of Alexander Scriabin and Erkki Melartin. Now she gives us this magnificent disc of discovery with dazzling performances of two little-known concertos. Another talented, up-and-coming young lady, French conductor Ariane Matiakh, and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra provide outstanding support.

The piano is dramatically captured and well balanced against the orchestra. As for the overall instrumental tone, it’s characterized by pleasant somewhat grainy highs, a lush midrange, and boomy bass drum strokes. While the disc may not be demonstration quality, there’s a pleasing, overall musicality that will appeal to those liking wetter sonics. © 2017 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review



Steve Arloff
MusicWeb International, March 2017

I very much doubt that the name of Zara Levina will ring any bells… I have certainly never come across her before. Sadly, because of the strength of these concertos, I should have done and it’s a crying shame that she is not better known. It is to be hoped that this release may kick-start something that helps bring that about. This is one of those discs that have you reaching for the repeat button on your CD player no sooner than it is finished.

Both these piano concertos have everything going for them and both should gain a devoted following with these performances from Maria Lettberg, whose passionate playing is equally matched by her subtle treatment of the gentler passages. A better advocate for these works one could not imagine, while the orchestra gives her the most complementary backing, a combination which should help bring these piano concertos from their undeserved obscurity into their highly warranted limelight. …It is also gratifying that it is another female conductor at the helm of the orchestra; Ariane Matiakh performs a great service to these works and her handling of the orchestra shows both respect and admiration for the music, which is thoroughly deserved. …This is a disc that must be heard. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, March 2017

This is a very fine disc as one would expect from Riga-born, Berlin-based, Swedish pianist Maria Lettberg who with great distinction has already recorded piano works by Scriabin, Erkki Melartin and Schnittke. Her magisterial and imaginative qualities are incessantly in evidence. As for the orchestra and the audio quality, both are up to the mark if not delivering quite the depth of plush string sound the First Concerto seems to demand.

Two contrasting and commanding concertos, each unusual and rewarding. Fresh adventures for enquiring minds and conspiring ears. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, February 2017

Ukrainian composer Zara Levina has written two really great piano concertos, which are now finally available in a modern recording of good quality. Both pianist Maria Lettberg and conductor Ariane Matiakh are truly committed to give a very effective performances of this rewarding music. © 2017 Pizzicato





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