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Michael Ullman
Fanfare, May 2017

[Islam Manafov’s] Chopin is bold, dramatic, even at times unsettled. He can play beautifully, as in the opening pages of the Ballade, op. 52. He holds back there, though we sense an explosion soon to happen. He begins the Scherzo, op. 20, in an astonishing rush, but then lets it almost come to a stop. A scherzo is, typically, playful: Here it sounds virtually threatening. Then Manafov plays the tender pages with the utmost care and gentleness. He is clearly a talented, forceful, and “ingenious” performer of Chopin, with a distinctive personality. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, February 2017

This man is great! [Islam Manafov] has a superb feeling for the flow and the textures of the works he performs here. He encompasses the vitally important sunsidiary passages as well as he does the great themes and large sonorities in his Chopin. And he infuses everything he plays with a wonderful poetic sensibility that shines forth from the Steinway D on which he performs in the present recordings… © 2017 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review




Oliver Fraenzke
Pizzicato, November 2016

Extremely well structured, highly musical and personal performances of an appealing Chopin program by Azerbaijani pianist Islam Manafov. Recommendable! © 2016 Pizzicato





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