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Pianist Inon Barnatan - album "Rachmaninov reflections" - CD Review, 7th of January 2024

Inon Barnatan: "one of the most admired pianists of his generation" ("New York Time"), "of extraordinary sensitivity" ("The New Yorker"), possessor of "impeccable musicality and phrasing" ("Le Figaro"), "a true poet of the keyboard - refined, probing, an infallible communicator" ("The Evening Standard").

An artist with an impressive track record, with appearances on the world's most important stages, with renowned orchestras and conductors. He has so far recorded several sensational albums: the complete Beethoven piano and orchestra concertos, or the Time-Traveler Suite, with a selection of Baroque, Romantic and 20th century works, the album of sonatas for cello and piano by Rahmaninov and Chopin, recorded with the cellist Alisa Weilerstein, or the latest Schubert sonatas, which have won the praise of the musical world. His debut album (also a Schubert album released by Bridge Records in 2006) led Gramophone magazine to declare him "a born Schubertian".

Inon Barnatan's new album, Rahmaninov reflections, released in November 2023, opens with Musical Moments op.16.pages signed by the young Rahmaninov in 1896 in Moscow, in which he was inspired by the musical moments of Schubert, a composer for whom Inon Barnatan has a special affinity; becoming an exceptional guide to the music of Sergei Rahmaninov: it offers a full picture of the variety of sounds and harmonies that populate the emotional world so richly expressed by the Russian composer in his creation. Throughout the journey, the Israeli pianist keeps our attention alert and arouses admiration - by the way he chooses sound colours, by carefully graduated accumulations of tension and climaxes, by the painstaking way he brings out musical details that would otherwise be lost in the astonishing richness of this music.

A joy - listening to this album, which also includes a piano transcription by Inon Barnatan of Symphonic Dances op.45. "Since childhood I have been moved by the power, beauty and complexity of the orchestral version of the Symphonic Dances. Later, I enjoyed collaborating with other pianists to perform the version for two pianos - created by Rachmaninoff before the orchestral version. But hearing the composer himself play it on a single piano gave me a tantalising insight into how the score was conceived, and how a solo piano version might lend a new dimension of spontaneity and flexibility. All that was left to do was to create it." - Inon Barnatan on his solo piano version of Sergei Rahmaninov's Symphonic Dances, an arrangement included on the album Rachmaninov reflections.