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INON BARNATAN

10.02.12
Inon Barnatan
Pianist Magazine

Darknesse Visible. Britten/Stevenson:
Fantasy on Peter Grimes; Debussy: Suite
bergamasque; Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit,
La valse; Adès: Darknesse Visible
Avie AV2256

How wonderful to be reminded by this disc that there are still pianists who are also musicians! So many young pianists today have no technical problems yet little idea of how to make music on the piano. Though he’s no longer one of the youngest pianists (he was born in 1979), Inon Barnatan is one of the finest musicians. His new CD shows piano playing of the highest order. You don’t notice his fingerwork, you simply immerse yourself in the sound he produces from the brilliantly recorded Steinway, and you know that there are no technical limits to what he can do. Ravel and Debussy are in the company of Thomas Adès, with a seductive dark piano piece realised to perfection by Barnatan. Ronald Stevenson’s Peter Grimes fantasy, one of the pinnacles of piano transcription, unveils layers of piano colours, and in places you can hear the piano’s strings being plucked by the performer. It is magical and I cannot imagine any other pianist playing it better. Barnatan’s Gaspard and, not least, his La valse are whirlwinds of sound that are masterfully controlled. Will there ever be a more innocent and pure Debussy Suite bergamasque recording from today’s younger generation? I doubt it!