Geoffrey Norris
The Daily Telegraph
February 2014

Szymanowski would scarcely have been unaware that his Polish predecessor Chopin had composed a dozen études (Opp 10 & 25) that were, and continue to be, at the bedrock of a pianist’s repertoire, and his own 12 Études Op 33, written in 1916, follow a similar path in combining an exploitation of advanced technique together with a crystallisation of mood within their brief spans. The remarkably gifted French pianist Cédric Tiberghien has all the wherewithal to combat the hazards of articulation, and, more than that, he has a sharp ear for characterisation in an idiom that on occasion is haunted by images of Debussy and Scriabin but has an expressive pungency all its own. Scriabin is a stronger presence in the four earlier Études Op 4, but Szymanowski’s voice is fully formed in the Métopes Op 29 (1915) and the Masques Op 34 (1915-16). Tiberghien’s definition of atmosphere and affinity with Szymanowski’s imagination and language give his performances a mesmerising, scintillating power and colour.