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Don O’Connor
American Record Guide, September 2014

Ms. Nguyen has an attractive, pellucid tone quality that brings out Raff’s virtues… © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Byzantion
MusicWeb International, May 2014

Nguyen has already shown herself a worthy champion of this oeuvre. Volume 1, her debut solo recording, made an auspicious start, and by now, more than two years on in a career in which Raff has often been the focal point of her recitals, she understands this music like no other. With the substantial technical requirements easily met, she is able to concentrate on creating an expressive Shangri-la for the listener, drawing nurturing warmth, half-forgotten memories, romance and a kaleidoscope of hues and fragrances from Raff’s enchanting scores.

…there should be no waverers when it comes to either Raff or Nguyen. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2014

Though largely self-taught, there was a time towards the end of the 19th century when audiences regarded Joachim Raff’s symphonies as preferable to Beethoven. Living an early life blighted by poverty, he eventually found a safe-haven living and working in the Liszt household where he acted as the distinguished composer’s amanuensis. It was there that he also fell under the influence of Chopin and Mendelssohn, as we hear in the abundance of filigree filling out the pages of La Cicerenella…We discover him in a more serious mode when he was just twenty-one and looking to emulate the great composers of his time with the 12 Romances en forme d’etudes…In its entirety it plays for over half an hour, and for someone with such little musical education to pen an often technically challenging score was quite amazing. The whirlwind third etude and the final Il delirio of the first book being two particular examples…there is much to charm the listener in the Mazurka and Polonaise movements. Moving back to the final part of his life we have the 2 Pieces and a vivid and vibrant Allegro Agitato…they give considerable pleasure. The British-Vietnamese pianist, Tra Nguyen, performs them with obvious enjoyment and affection. © 2014 David’s Review Center





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