The joyous, mischievous nature of Kapustin's ninth Piano Sonata, op 78 (1995), is evident from the start. A jolly semiquaver figure introduces his first theme, with the second not far behind, and the development section is punctuated by unexpected chords and dextrous runs in both hands. The yearning, impassioned slow movement - Kapustin the great Romantic - gives way to an unusual two-page interlude so as not to prepare the listener for the rumbustious finale. Again shot through with offbeat chords, this movement gathers momentum via a number of jocular diversions, and after a buildup of pseudo-grandiose proportions gets faster and faster - and faster still, ending with a thumping right hook on three terrified black keys.
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