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Mark Sealey
MusicWeb International, August 2017

At times Koukl’s playing—for all its insight and technical prowess—seems unsure of exactly to which genre the music belongs. It’s to his credit, though, that he keeps his options open and never wavers into pastiche or too imitative a style. Given that Lourié was virtually deprived of an accepted and distinct reputation of his own for so many years later in his life and after his death, it’s well that Koukl is clearly letting the composer speak for himself, rather than over-interpreting him.

Our appreciation of this sympathy on Koukl’s part is reinforced as we listen to his gentle and tactful playing of such almost stylised pieces as the Minuet in the style of Gluck, and the unadventurous waltz at the end of the Eight Scenes. These could easily have evoked bathos or parody. Instead, Koukl uses a serious touch. Typical is the way he approaches the more substantial works, such as the wonderfully evocative Deux Poèmes Opus 8. Given what we know about the poetry of the Silver Age and pre-War era, Koukl’s playing is apt and communicative. It has a delicate balance between the tentative and the confident. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Records International, July 2017

For those of you collecting this Lourié cycle (Capriccio having interceded with their two-disc set last October), this volume covers the years 1912–1938 which contain his most avant-garde works dating from the years of the First World War and the Revolution and its aftermath to the sequence of more conservative yet characterful miniatures dating from after Stalin’s minions had stomped on anything progressive in the arts. © 2017 Records International

Steve Arloff
MusicWeb International, July 2017

I am glad to have had the opportunity to hear so much of Lourié’s music which is so interesting and so tuneful and so varied it seems he was a chameleon in more than just his assumed persona but in his music as well and it’s all the better for it; variety is the spice of music as well as of life itself. Giorgio Koukl is nothing if not a consistently impressive advocate of whichever composer’s music he takes it upon himself to focus on and I thoroughly recommend this disc to all lovers of solo piano music. © 2017 MusicWeb International

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2017

‘I would hesitate to say you are about to discover a neglected genius, though he did come precious close to joining the outstanding Impressionists’, I commented last August. My review of that first volume of his piano music related a career of Arthur Vincent Lourie that was liberally sprinkled with life’s unfortunate decisions, for having been born into a Jewish family in that part of the world we know as Belarus in 1891, the world’s turbulent history that followed found him in the wrong place at the wrong time. It came to an end in 1966 in the United States, a talented musician and gifted composer now totally forgotten and living in obscurity. He did try to follow the changing styles of composition, and by the first work on the disc, the Deux Poemes from 1912, he had developed his own version of atonality that here continues through to the twenty-first track, Rojal’v Detskoj (Eight Scenes from Russian Childhood). He had been a Glazunov pupil in St. Petersburg, the French Impressionist School had obviously there played a major influence, and it was to Paris he fled with the impending establishment of the Soviet Union, his very brief Third Piano Sonatina his last work from his Russian period. The following eight works represent this second phase, a smoochy Waltz and the six works that follow are pleasing, but they were without any sense of career direction. There is more to come in this series, and we are in debt to the immaculate playing of Giorgio Koukl, his lucidity and feeling of a dedicated champion is rare enough. The quality of his quite remarkable Swiss recordings surpass any piano discs I have encountered. © 2017 David’s Review Corner

Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, June 2017

…an absolutely splendid recital and a worthy successor to Vol. 1. Lourié’s music will hold your attention not just because it’s so good but also because it’s so varied in mood and character. © 2017 The Art Music Lounge Read complete review

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