Click here to return to the main site.

Classical Music Review

Cover Image

Eclectic Sounds


Composers: L.V. Beethoven, Béla Bartók, Pantcho Vladigerov and Alexander Vladigerov
Performed by: Alexander Tchobanov (piano)
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 28 October 2022

What do Beethoven, Bartók and Bulgaria’s national composer Vladigerov have in common? This is the question posed by Bulgarian pianist Alexander Tchobanov on his new album Eclectic Sounds - and what appears to be a harmless question soon turns into a mighty quest. Contrasting Beethoven’s 'Piano Sonata No. 30', a selection of beloved works by Bartók as well as two pieces composed by Vladigerov – one by the father, one by his son - the answer is quickly elucidated: the common denominator between these works is their inner drive, their lucidity, their monumental precision. Performed with an ambitious blend of vigour and exactitude, Tchobanov unveils their inner workings with previously-unheard, razor-sharp clarity...

Eclectic Sounds delivers exactly what it says on the tin. Over the course of these 5 works (9 tracks - 52 min, 35 sec) pianist Alexander Tchobanov tackles with gusto and raw emotion these very different pieces.

The album opens with Beethoven's 1820 work 'Sonata No. 30', a beautifully measured and restrained affair. Whereas, Bartók's 'Sonata Sz. 80' is more chaotic and unpredictable as it shifts from movements to movement. 'Six Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm' is also unpredictable and atonal in parts.

Pantcho Vladigerov's 'Piano Pieces' is rather sporadic and unsettling, until it's conclusion, which is a little over the top with its pomp. And finally, Alexander Vladigerov's 'Dilmano Dilbero Variations' is a little jittery before settling down into a grandiose celebration of the piano's range as an instrument.

These are wonderfully diverse pieces which compliment each other perfectly. Tchobanov skills as an artist come to the fore as he tackles each piece with the same enthusiasm.

Track listing:

Ludwig van Beethoven
01. Sonata No. 30 Op. 109: I. Vivace, Adagio Espressivo (3:33)
02. Sonata No. 30 Op. 109: II. Prestissimo (2:22)
03. Sonata No. 30 Op. 109: III. Andante Molto Cantabile ed Espressivo (12:23)

Béla Bartók
04. Sonata Sz. 80: I. Allegro Moderato (4:05)
05. Sonata Sz. 80: II. Sostenuto e Pesante (4:20)
06. Sonata Sz. 80: III. Allegro Molto (3:19)
07. Six Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm for piano from "Mikrokosmos"(8:40)

Pantcho Vladigerov
08. Piano Pieces op.15 No.1 Prelude (4:53)

Alexander Vladigerov
09. Dilmano Dilbero Variations op. 2 (9:04)


Darren Rea

Buy this item online

Digital album
Digital album