Reviewed by Gary Lemco
To call Van Cliburn Competition winner Sean Chen’s performances of Brahms, Beethoven, and Bartok “crystalline” does more than make a pun, as you can hear for yourself.
Brahms: Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 21, No. 1; Beethoven: Sonata No. 29 in B-flat Major, Op. 106, “Hammerklavier”; Bartók: Three Etudes, Op. 18. Harmonia mundi HMU 907607, 70:17, ****
Recorded in concert 24 May 9 June 2013 at Bass Performance Hall, Fort Worth, Texas, this composite recital by Sean Chen celebrates his participation at the Fourteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Chen has chosen three works from distinct musical periods and aesthetics that realize aspects of his own consummate musicianship, the variation principle tying the works together. MORE