Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Founder Len Mullenger:

BRAHMS Klavierstücke op 76
DEBUSSY Three Preludes from Book II
PROKOFIEV Sonata no 8 in B flat major op 84

Amir Tebenikhin (piano)
Recorded October 1999
Naxos 8.554768 [72.45]
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Amir Tebenikhin is yet another prize-winning young Russian pianist who seems destined to enjoy a glittering career. He was only 22 when he recorded these three very different works, yet the maturity of his playing is already impressive. The four Capriccii and four Intermezzi which comprise the Brahms Klavierstücke embrace a wide range of moods and Tebenikhin explores these with great imagination. I particularly enjoyed his sprightly account of the B minor Capriccio and his deft shaping of the contrasts in the C sharp minor Capriccio.

He is no less successful in capturing the exotic colours of the Debussy: the superb clarity and even-ness of his touch in Feux d'artifice is absolutely riveting. What impressed most about his Prokofiev was the fact that while projecting the music with the requisite energy and fullness of tone Tebenikhin never resorts to the merciless thumping which so often mars performances of this composer's piano music. The finale in particular is superbly articulated and hurtles to a brilliant conclusion.

All in all, here is a young man to note: his seemingly effortless and comprehensive technical control, remarkable in itself, is always the servant of the music, not its master. Recording is first class.

Adrian Smith

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