Alberto Reyes
Gramophone reviews Alberto Reyes plays Schumann

Piano aficionados may previously have encountered the artistry of Uruguayan pianist Alberto Reyes in a splendid and hard-to-find 1995 Connoisseur Society release devoted to Liszt's Verdi paraphrases. Reyes proves equally at home with Schumann on many levels. Despite close microphone placement, Reyes's full-bodied, colourful sonority, effortless technical apparatus, keen contrapuntal prowess and innate grasp of Schumann's mercurial idiom do rewarding justice to these oft-recorded works, once you accept the pianist's relatively restricted dynamic range (in comparison to, say Horowitz or Argerich).

The pianist's tempi for Kreisleriana' s eight movements ensure maximum fluidity and clarity for both his fingers and his listeners, laced with effective yet discreet rubato. Kinderszenen also boasts beautiful and individual details, such as Reyes's bewitching, slower-than-usual "Von fremden Ländern" and "Träumerei", variations of touch in the echoed phrases of "Bittendes Kind", plus a soaring and poetic "Glückes genug". The C Major Fantasy's first movement stands out for Reyes's variety of articulation and his sensitively modulated soft playing, yet other recordings offer more impassioned sweep and surging drama when the music calls for it (Arrau, Kissin, Horowitz, Perahia, and a staggering live version on VAI with Jeffery Swann). Likewise, Reyes holds back in the notorious skips all pianists dread when navigating the central movement's coda, although his subtle polyphonic balances prevent monotony in the obsessive dotted rhytms. Reyes is at his best in the third movement, which he unfolds with a natural lyrical grace and flexibility.

The self-penned booklet-notes discuss these works in terms of the recording process and the challenges they pose for pianists and engineers. That doesn't prevent me from judging the performances from what I hear, rather than what I read.

Jed Distler, Gramophone
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