INGOLF WUNDER 300 CD 4790084

. . . Wunder is a very good pianist . . . The warmth of the Deutsche Grammophon sound brings Wunder into the living room and makes it sound like he's performing for you. Altogether a highly enjoyable recording that is terrific for those piano lovers out there.

The opening Domenico Scarlatti Sonata (B minor, Kk87) is pure and poised. The most substantial work is Mozart's Piano Sonata in B flat (K333) given a moderately paced outing, straightforward and from the page, sensitive, chaste and subtly dynamic, the first movement's final diminuendo attracting what sounds like distant birdsong. Throughout, Wunder's tempos are thoughtfully articulate . . . [Chopin's Berceuse (Opus 57)] burgeons effectively . . . [Liszt's Csárdás macabre]: Wunder enjoys its twisted harmonics . . . a darting, frisky, and even delicate account of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee", as arranged by Rachmaninov, whose own marching Prelude in G minor (Opus 23/5) is given a strong and lyrical account before the heavens are stormed with Scriabin's Étude in D sharp minor . . . [Horowitz's 'Danse excentrique'] is then given a rare and intriguing outing . . . 'Star Wars' in Wunder and Martin Romberg's spectacular transcription . . . works a surprising treat and is a stellar conclusion to a diverting and pleasurable release.

. . . a program of considerable variety . . . Wunder is a gifted musician whose refinement and subtlety are apparent in all aspects of his playing, and are in every way equal to his virtuosity and intensity, so this CD is as much a display of artistry as it is of technique. Wunder's poetic treatment of Scarlatti, Mozart, Chopin, and Debussy is wonderfully balanced by his fiery handling of Liszt, Rachmaninov, Scriabin, and Horowitz, and his delicate playing of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumble Bee" and Moszkowski's "Étincelles" reveals a fine blending of control and energy . . . [the] rousing arrangement of John Williams' Main Title from "Star Wars", is fun and engaging . . . Deutsche Grammophon's reproduction is big and spacious, with clear and close-up sound to capture Wunder's nuances but providing enough roominess to let him stretch out.

Wunder's elegance and poetic intelligence makes him perhaps one of the most well-rounded talent among them. Many pianists can play the kind of scintillating Scarlatti heard on his new album Ingolf Wunder 300, but almost none of them play Mozart sonatas in ways so relaxed and genial -- and with such an ingratiating legato.

. . . a standout in the current explosion of young keyboard virtuosos . . . Wunder tosses off Arcadi Volodos' transcription of Mozart's Turkish Rondo with ease . . . A fine modern recording of Horowitz's odd little dance is welcome; Wunder makes a stronger case for the music than the composer did in his 1930 recording. No question, Wunder is a major figure on the current pianist scene.

There are plenty of passionate renditions of well-known Romantic piano favourites, including Liszt, Rachmaninov and Chopin, as well as a cheeky appearance from Mozart in the form of his Piano Sonata No. 13. In true 300 style, even the Mozart is full of surprises: Wunder throws a musical curve-ball by including a brilliantly quirky arrangement of the "Rondo alla turca" from Arcadi Volodos . . . Wunder's deliciously characterful interpretations show just what the piano is capable of, across a wide range of musical eras and styles.

. . . [an] inspired solo piano arrangement of John Williams' "Star Wars" theme -- which has to be heard to be believed!

An engaging, blithely entertaining display of prowess and poetry . . . [I must applaud] the degree of sensitivity Wunder can exhibit in the more sober music of Scarlatti's B Minor Sonata and Mozart's B-flat Major Sonata, a rather sparkling affair, actually. The tempos remain moderate, and the musical line enjoys a seamless rounded blend of legato and gently acerbic accents. The Andante cantabile, especially, basks in a subdued, poetic lyricism that projects a sincere, genial spirit. A slight marcato lifts the poise and Viennese joie imbued in the final Allegretto grazioso, whose faster passages do not tempt Wunder into false display. For the poetic side of Wunder's keyboard personality, certainly Debussy's long-familiar "Clair de Lune" breathes and sighs with romantic ardor, just within the limits of refined taste. The gentler virtuoso in Wunder finds equally charming fare in Chopin's marvelous study in harmonic-rhythm, his D-flat Berceuse, played intelligently and cannily . . . The little "Valse fantastique" by Chopin acolyte Raoul Koczalski (1884-1948) admits a delicate grace that strums as well as lilts its fine points. In Rachmaninov's arrangement, the "Flight of the Bumblebee" achieves an elfin speed and tingling excitement that caresses rather than thunders through the pollen . . . Pure passion reigns in Scriabin's D-sharp Minor Etude, an ardent Horowitz staple . . . The final trilogy of pieces celebrates the rabble-rouser in Wunder, cheeky and decidedly spectacular. The Arcadi Volodos arrangement of Mozart's Rondo from the Sonata, K. 331 takes harmonic flight and never quite reaches normal gravity.

He understands how to take light music seriously but without compromising its lightness. It's all underpinned by a superb technique and the results are delightful.

. . . it's the unadorned Mozart Sonata in B-flat, K. 333 that reveals Wunder's real gift, a limpid, unforced melodic line filled with charm. Wunder's name means miracle in German -- an apt moniker for playing this "wunderbar".

. . . he does have a very companionable talent . . . everything here works beautifully. The Scarlatti Sonata . . . has a clean expressiveness, and the Mozart Sonata that follows (K333) has a relaxed, springtime feel . . . The mixture moves from exquisite delicacy (in the Chopin "Berceuse") to disciplined power (Liszt's "Csardas macabre") to music that passes like a breath of wind (Rachmaninov's arrangement of "Flight of the Bumblebee"); Volodos's arrangement of the "Alla Turca" comes with high-octane virtuosity.

Sympathisch, dass er sein Recital . . . mit einer sehr behutsam und uneitel modellierten Mozart-Sonate bereichert.

Ausgesprochen leicht und unbeschwert lässt Wunder Mozarts Läufe perlen. Sein Spiel wirkt natürlich, durchdacht und ungekünstelt. Die große Geste, das Zurschaustellen von Virtuosität ist ihm weniger wichtig; vielmehr interessieren ihn die intimen Momente, von denen es in dieser Sonate nur so wimmelt. Eine hörenswerte Platte, bei der die Zeit fast wie im Flug vergeht.

. . . eine sehr persönliche Klaviermusikgeschichte . . . eine hörenswerte Entdeckungsreise, die . . . so manche Überraschung parat hält.

. . . er [trifft] die Leichtigkeit Mozarts mit spielerischer Präzision . . . In der "Berceuse" in Des-Dur von Frédéric Chopin erweist sich Wunder als wahrer Meister dieses Repertoires . . . Dem erst 27-jährigen Virtuosen gelingt das Kunststück, sowohl bei bekanntem Repertoire als auch bei den Raritäten als souveräner und ausgereifter Künstler mit weiten Melodiebögen und stupender Technik dauerhaft die richtige Sprache zu finden, indem er die Eigenheiten der Werke betont, ohne sie zu überzeichnen.

Richtig krachen lässt Wunder es mit Liszts dämonischem "Csardas macabre", da kommt Debussys delikates "Clair de lune" zum Atemholen gerade recht, ehe er zum rasanten "Hummelflug" ansetzt . . . zart und entrückt erklingt hier sein [Chopins] Berceuse. Zum Schluss wagt sich Wunder noch auf die dunkle Seite der Macht und spielt die Musik zum Science-Fiction-Kultfilm Star Wars. Kultig.

. . . eine Scarlatti-Sonate (h-moll, K 87), die er ungemein feinfühlig phrasiert und artikuliert und dabei dem musikalischen Ausdruck mit leichten (aber wirklich nur leichten!) Verzögerungen des Tempos Raum und Spannung schafft [, liegt Ingolf Wunder am besten] . . . Ähnliches gilt für die Mozart-Sonate KV 333, die Ingolf Wunder mit perlender Kantabilität vorträgt, ohne in aufgesetzten Extremen sein Heil zu suchen. Dieser Mozart spricht für sich selber, was so nicht gerade oft konstatiert werden kann . . . [herrlich innig] singt Ingolf Wunder "Playing Love", die Filmmelodie von Ennio Morricone, auf den weißen und schwarzen Tasten. Chapeau!

. . . [survoler trois cents ans de musique] est une merveille. Un éclectisme de bon aloi . . . de la couleur et de la sensibilité: le florilège est ici remarquable. Ce jeune homme de vingt sept ans ne démontre pas seulement des qualités pianistiques exceptionnelles. Avec une belle autorité, le voici qui se hisse au niveau des interprètes qui comptent et nous entraîne à grande vitesse du côté du printemps.

Le jeu contrasté mais jamais sec ou dur du jeune homme . . . fait montre d'un beau tempérament plus impétueux et plein de fougue mordante chez Liszt . . . avec cette prédilection pour l'enchantement miroitante d'un Debussy lunaire (Clair de lune (extrait de Suite bergamasque), touché par la grâce papillonnante de vol du bourdon de Rimsky (arrangement de Rachmaninov); plein d'humour et de distance critique décalée, Wunder sait aussi enrichir ses imaginaires en choisissant l'exploit de ses prédécesseurs tels Arcadi Volodos, auteur d'une paraphrase d'après le rondo alla turca de la Sonate K331 de Mozart . . . Sensible et enchanteur, le pianiste réussit à élargir encore son vaste répertoire en incluant en conclusion deux musiques de film signées Morricone et Williams (thème d'ouverture de Star Wars), ce dernier dans un arrangement du jeune pianiste: le geste est entier, la volonté indéfectible et d'un brio lisztéen . . . Le talent est réel et la maturité artistique plus que prometteuse. A suivre.