Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Seasons / Grand Sonata
A Pleasant Surprise
M. C. Passarella | Lawrenceville, GA | 07/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I wanted to get a copy of the often-maligned Piano Sonata of Tchaikovsky without spending an unconscionable amount. Apparently, most critics think this is one of Tchaikovsky's most vapid and/or pretentious compositions though I have always had a soft spot for it. Well, there may be some empty gestures in the work, but on the other hand, one cannot fault the structure or the development of the musical material; Tchaikovsky, after all, was a thoroughly trained musician who falls down more often on content than on craft.
The surprise is that I was very satisfied with the performance even though I had economized. Brownridge, whose pianism I knew from a Schumann disc on Hyperion, throws herself into Tchaikovsky's chord-heavy music with passion. She is not at all daunted by the work's large difficulties but still manages to shape the music convincingly. In her hands, the sonata sounds important if not essential.
With Tchaikovsky's better-known "The Seasons," Brownridge doesn't patronize. She takes Tchaikovsky's salon-musical gestures seriously and produces charming results. Good, realistic piano sound as well. This may not be a must-have recording, but if you take a chance on it, I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed."