Ponti uses a piano with a very bright (some might say clangorous!) tone. Add to this the fact that his playing is characterised by frequent little eruptions of sound, rather than by gradual shadings, and that he tends to hammer bass notes "à la Horowitz", while some of his speeds are so excessively fast (the finale of the second sonata for instance) that the musical thought becomes almost unintelligible and it should become clear why I cannot give this set an unreserved recommendation. That said, I find that Ponti gives some really splendid performances here (that of the Fifth sonata is most compelling) and this, coupled with the fact that this set and a companion volume of the shorter pieces are available from Amazon dealers at prices which are "a steal", must be enough to tempt anyone who would like to have Scriabin's entire solo piano output in technically brilliant, vivid, often elegant performances in fine recorded sound.
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