There are four sonatas in all, from the years 1990, 1997, 2007, and 2019, respectively. Each one stands up for itself, showing introspection and an exciting, exhilarating motility that Xiaoya makes poetically ravishing without fail. The sonatas have plenty of advanced harmonic elements that mark it all as of our time, yet they also advance the exciting pianoforte movement that burgeoned in earlier days in the inventive creative minds of Chopin, Liszt, Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Sorabji, and Alkan, to name a few that come to mind as I listen. Yet it all covers that advanced unfolding on very much its own terms.
Its considerable demands and its moving cascades of pedaled, sustained torrents are taken on heroically and very sympathetically by Ms. Liu. I have a hard time imagining a better reading of these gems. And it is clear as I listen repeatedly that Xiaoya Liu is a voice of our time, a most impressive dynamo, an extraordinary brilliance, a thrilling presence.
It is some of the most exciting piano music I have heard in years. Touch, finesse and rolling power stay conjoined in ways no doubt Maestro Vine appreciates, as I think would anyone who loves demanding and well executed unfolding in our present tense! It is marvelous music. Do not miss it. Like a concatenation of many bells bursting out over the aural air, this assures one, stuns and makes one look forward to more!