On his debut Navona Records release, ALL THE WAY BACK, pianist and composer Vytautas Smetona presents a collection of keyboard repertoire that highlights his enthralling and committed interpretations of some of the great composers’ masterworks as well as an example of his faculty as a cultivated and dynamic composer.
The pieces on this album offer Smetona technical feats and expressive themes, all of which the pianist handles with ease, determination, and eloquence. From Bach’s lyrical and joyous Prelude and Fugue in C-sharp Major, BWV 848 to the somber and dramatic range of Liszt’s Funerailles (October 1849), Smetona evokes passion and refinement in his performances. The technical mastery of works such as Brahms’s Intermezzo in B-flat Minor, Op. 117, No. 2, Schumann’s Fantasie in C Major, Op. 17, and Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 23 is handled by Smetona with sophistication, lucidity, and powerful passage work. Smetona shows us a balance between accurately playing the notes on the score and interpreting the feeling between them.
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