POETIC PIANO SONATAS: BEETHOVEN, CHOPIN, BARTOK, Olga Jegunova, piano/Music & Media MMC 114 It is an ambitious programme that the talented pianist Olga Jegunova has chosen for this winning recital, but it proves to be the perfect showcase for her nuanced and sensitive talents. Beethoven’s ‘Waldstein’ Sonata is given a reading which stresses the poetic (as per the album’s title) as opposed to the monumental aspect of the music, but bids fair to hold its own against the formidable competition in this piece over the years. Similarly, Chopin’s ‘Funeral March’ Sonata is handled with great thoughtfulness, and the final item, Bartok’s Sonata sz. 80 is dispatched with the kind of neurotic energy that the piece demands. Those wondering, though, how this final percussive work can be included in a recital called ‘Poetic Piano Sonatas’, should note that Jegunova has selected (and comissioned) poetry to accompany and illuminate each piece — added value, in fact. It’s a striking disc, and the recording quality, while lacking the resonance of an SACD disc, has a remarkably faithful piano tone with a modest concert hall ambience.