Marius Dawn
March 2016

Some five years back, Hyperion released its first disc by Bulgarian pianist Nadejda Vlaeva, featuring Bach Transcriptions. It was a great success and I am delighted to see her back for this second recording. The five stars are for both the repertoire and the gentle persuasive way Vlaeva plays this sadly way-too-little-known late-Romantic Russian. The sound of the piano is not up to five stars, but this concern is outweighed by the musicality and the convincing playing. If you like Rachmaninov, or you just love big lush romantic harmonies in general (think of Korngold and Hollywood movies of the 1930's), you will adore these confectionary cakes with over-decorated icing that Bortkiewicz indulges you with. This is a disc to return to, and every time with more and more joy. More Bortkiewicz, Hyperion—we can't get enough!