This splendid new release confirms the excellent impression made by its predecessors, especially the remarkable disc containing the Fourth Piano Concerto and other orchestral works. Kapustin’s jazz-inflected style offers a full range of expressive nuance projected in a consistently kinetic, refreshing and melodically attractive language that is uniquely his own. The Fifth Piano Concerto is a single-movement work about twenty minutes long, and there’s not a dull moment, particularly in Frank Dupree’s nimble and virtuosic performance. Whiplash interchanges between the solo and orchestra ensure endless textural variety, while the musical ideas tumble over one another with uninhibited abandon. It’s as lovable as it is sophisticated, with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under Dominik Beykirch having a great time as a full participant in the proceedings.
The Concerto for Two Pianos and Percussion will evoke memories of Bartók’s Sonata for the same combination, but otherwise the two works couldn’t be more different in style. The percussion here is basically a drum set, plus a selection of mallet instruments including xylophone, vibraphone and glockenspiel. The piece is a touch more harmonically astringent than the concerto, but no less engaging. Franck Dupree is joined here by equally able Adrian Brendle on second piano, who also participates in this lively version of the delightful Sinfonietta for piano four-hands. This piece also exists as an orchestral original, which we can only hope to hear someday–it’s a tuneful, high-spirited gem. As you might have surmised, the performances leave nothing to be desired, and Capriccio’s sonics are first rate. This series only goes from strength to strength. You will surely want to hear it.
-- ClassicsToday.com (10/10; David Hurwitz)