...Meaning they hit all their notes right, but have nothing to say in this bland, spiritless run-through of two of Prokofiev's most colorful works. This sounds like music made by computers, or robots. Moments that beg for color, such as the coda of the first movement of the second sonata or the trio section of the scherzo of the same work, are not present. The moody, ominous opening strains of the first sonata--here it sounds like a finger exercise. This disc sounds like a half-hearted rehearsal. The sharp accents, repetitive rhythms, dynamic contasts, elongated and asymmetrical lines, not to mention that special Russian (or Soviet, I should say) sardonicism--all smoothed over here. Someone added a lot of water to this gin.
And it's not that the pair doesn't have technique. It's more a matter that they don't have experience. I don't think they understand this music, any more than a thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters can understand the words of Shakespeare even if they happen to type them. This trend of promoting younger and younger artists as "the real deal" in classical music is disturbing. There are a few with apparent wisdom beyond their years (Hillary Hahn comes quickest to mind), but plenty more without.
The reviewer who was so impressed with this pianist should hear a feller named Sviatoslav Richter.