Pianist Magazine London - July 2005 - Written by Tim Stein

Franz Liszt
Sonata in B min; Don Juan Fantasy; Mephisto Waltz No I
Jerome Rose (pf)
Medici Classics M30092

Jerome Rose, the esteemed American pianist and teacher, was a student of both Leonard Shure (himself a student of Artur Schnabel) and Rudolf Serkin, and is a faculty member of the Mannes College of Music. He brings a lifetime's experience to this new Medici release of music by Liszt. At one time Liszt's B minor Sonata, the highlight of this disc, was deemed too difficult by far for most pianists even to attempt to play in private, never mind to play it for public consumption. Now, though most pianists have it as a standard work in their reper­toire, few manage to marry successfully the huge technical and musical demands of a one-movement piece that lasts almost half an hour.

Rose, however rises to almost every challenge. Like Liszt himself, Rose seems to offer an underlying musical logic that propels the music forward from first note to last. It is a powerfully argued performance devoid of ego and artifice. but at the same time offering its own unique perspective. Perhaps there have been more hair-raising performances from the likes of Horowitz, Richter and Argerich, and more subtle, introspective readings from the likes of Arrau and Brendel. But any performance that can shed new light on a masterpiece such as this deserves to be heard, especially when coupled with truly virtuosic performances of the Don Juan Fantasy and the first of Liszt's Mephisto Waltzes. Warmly recorded (though with a touch of steeliness in the upper registers), this is a disc to he highly recommended.


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