Gramophone

“Critics’ Choice” recording 1999

Raymond Clarke chose it [Sonata No.3] for his graduation recital 12 years ago and for his broadcasting début, so it obviously means a lot to him, and in this remarkable performance he demonstrates it to be an extraordinary piece … the concluding fugue … should sound like the obvious and inevitable destination of all that preceded it, and in Clarke’s gripping reading it triumphantly does … Clarke has already won admiration for his recordings of such well-nigh unplayable things as Ronald Stevenson’s Passacaglia on DSCH (Marco Polo, 9/95) and Havergal Brian’s Double Fugue (Athene, 4/98), so there is no fear that Szymanowski will find his technique wanting. But his love for these sonatas’ rich and delicate sonorities and his absolute conviction that the Third Sonata is a masterpiece are as evident as his technical fluency … a release of major importance.

—Adrian Corleonis