Album Review by Jan Mühldorfer on Recklinghäuser Zeitung
Rachmaninoff played from the deepest soul
Melancholic-in-Chief Sergei Rachmaninoff knew like no other composer how to generate the full color palette of a symphony orchestra from the concert grand. He succeeded in doing this with his second piano sonata. In order to approach Rachmaninoff's epic, emotionally far- reaching musical creation in a more than just technically brilliant way, a kind of soul companionship is required. The Turkish pianist Emre Yavuz - prize winner of the Dortmund Schubert Competition 2016 - seems to have it.
For his current recording of Op. 36 he chose the first (1913) version; how he mobilizes all the dynamic registers in the first and the last movements without slipping into exaggeration and with generally moderate tempi, he creates tensions with cleverly placed Rubati without falling into a superficial meaningless void, shows a deep understanding and emotional intelligence. Emre Yavuz underlines the sentiment of the second movement with singer-like elegance, without sugaring it with sentimentality.
His special instinct for dramaturgically effective structuring made him combine the sonata with the ten early Preludes Op. 23 from the years 1901-1903. He lets their romantic, expressive fin-de-siècle sound shine with a surging, pearly fluency in bright colors. Splendid.