The Hungarian pianist Dénes Várjon, familiar in musical partnership with Steven Isserlis and others, here makes an impressive solo recital debut on ECM. Despite the many accounts of Liszt's Sonata in B minor released in the 2011 anniversary year, this late addition demands attention for its grandeur, clarity and incisive virtuosity. Várjon makes rigorous sense of the work's episodic structure, showing powerful ease in the fugue but enjoying the rhapsodic nature of the rest. The Liszt is preceded by two later works influenced by it: Berg's one-movement Sonata Op 1 and Janácek's In the Mists. Várjon is always perceptive as a chamber musician. It's a treat to hear him alone.
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