First, judge a book by the cover. Behind the photo of the devastatingly handsome pianist we see his own compelling liner notes of exceptional insight and particular breadth of reading and study. Firstly one might therefore expect a similarly studied performance; secondly, Pienaar seems to promise a middle way recording, plain vanilla or ready salted, difficult to look forward to.
Happily neither fear is fulfilled. The performance is fresh, but more importantly it is unlike any other I have heard: it has a nervy, edgy tone unlike any of the other great recordings (Richter being my other personal favourite), consistent (unlike Gould) and totally rivetting, more Monster Munch than Ready Salted throughout. Where the music should be tender it is breathtakingly tender, where it should be jaunty it has a neurotic edge and great dynamic range that is mesmerizing, and where one should simply let rip the sheer technical accomplishment and sense of a great talent walking a tightrope of technique leaves one elated at the accomplishment of both composer and performer.