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Markus Schirmer, Austrian piano player and composer, is an experienced musician, even though his production is not so vast. He has worked with Gergiev, Marriner, Menhuin and Mackerras and he has a quite varied repertoire. Here, he is dealing with “Miroirs” by Ravel, a 1904 composition in 5 movements dedicated to 5 friends that belonged to a group of French impressionists called “Les Apaches”. Among the five compositions the most renown is “Alborada del Gracioso”, orchestrate by the same Ravel and played by different musicians. In the composition we find a dreamlike atmosphere but it also contains images and nervous and precise sounds that are also technically complex. The unabridged version of “Pictures”, the famous composition by Mussorgsky, born as a piano music and later orchestrated by Ravel, follows. Schmirner plays the piano with great ability, with expertise and expressiveness. With this Ravel's work, a comparison among the many available versions is inevitable. Here the touch is lighter if compared with that of Pogorelich, and the atmosphere is rarefied and dreamlike. Bydlo, for example, is executed with a certain rhythm and with a lesser, but more credible, dramatic nature. There is here a very agreeable romantic touch. It’s a very nice record, executed with great ability. As for the quality of the audio with Tacet there’s no possibility to get wrong. The piano Fazioli F-278 has been recorded in Graz in year 2004, in the Helmut-List-Halle. The recording is quite close but a couple of ambiance microphones, placed far from the piano, recreate a realistic atmosphere. The sound of the piano is slightly dimmed in the top range and very extended between the loudspeakers. I find that this solution is correct, since it’s just one instrument playing and if it wasn’t so, it would sound weird and annoying. Strongly recommended.
Angelo Jasparro


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