Cherkassky was 71 when he played this live program of Lully (Suite), Mendelssohn (Scherzo a Capriccio), Tchaikovsky (Grand Sonata), Chopin (A-flat Waltz), and Hofmann (Kaleidoskop), which had its listeners in ecstasies—as well as reviewers of this CD release.
"This recital is sumptuous in touch, flexible in rhythm, and eccentric in voicing. His self-consciously unorthodox Polonaise Fantaisie offers such radical rethinking of articulation and vertical balance that it sometimes seems as if the music were being recomposed on the spot. Indeed, I can think of few other discs that so exuberantly flaunt the pianist's improvisatory style. Add to this Ivory Classics' typical stellar production values and you have one of the most seductive Cherkassky releases in the catalog."—Fanfare
"Cherkassky, who certainly had one of the most vivid pianistic imaginations imaginable, delivers a bel canto view of the underrated Tchaikovsky sonata…. Few pianists have understood the potential of the pedals (all three of them) to enhance musical nuance and gesture. Mr. Cherkassky had a command of half tints and flutter pedals second to none. This Polonaise Fantasy is a welcome relief from the martial arts treatment it's normally subjected to. This reading is fresh, revealing, and full of surprises. To say Shura Cherkassky was unique and incomparable is an understatement."—American Record Guide
"No more scintillating performance of Chopin's A-flat Waltz, Op. 42, with its mix of duple and triple rhythm, exists; the Lully is mesmeric and the Tchaikovsky G major Sonata—where Cherkassky mischievously stands everything on its head, going off at ever wilder tangents as this or that passing detail catches his fancy—is an astonishing recreation…. A cornucopia of offerings shot through with genius."—Gramophone