The second work of Hiroshi Takasu with Partenza Records is Sigismund Thalberg's 'Opera Fantasies'. Thalberg, a virtuoso pianist and composer, was a contemporary of Franz Liszt and regarded at the time as archrival of Liszt both in popularity and artistry. His dazzling arpeggio, ascending and descending the whole range of the keyboard while being engaged in two other tasks of playing melody and accompaniment, held the audience spellbound and earned him prominence as a "three-handed pianist". Takasu begins this album with 'Fantasy on Meyerbeer's Robert le Diable'. Interestingly, Takasu's previous record entitled 'Liszt, Transcendent Opera Fantasies' contains Liszt's transcription of the same opera as it's second piece. Based on the same original, their difference is recognizable; while Liszt, a pupil of a pupil of Beethoven, shows a penchant for 'developing' the motif, Thalberg, a pupil of a pupil of Mozart, shows his love for adding an exquisite 'embellishment' to the melody. Takasu's virtuosity is, as always, impressive. The second track 'Moise' is the work played by Thalberg in response to Listz who played 'Niobe' in prominent 'Ivory War'. In the last half 'Dal tuo stellato soglio -Moise's prayer', we can enjoy Takasu's 'three-hand' which is so speedy that we can't even imagine how he's playing. The third track 'Norma' reminds us of early style in Thalberg production inherited from his master Hummel. The beautifully spreading notes of Takasu perfectly suit to continuous melodies of Bellini in this work. The fourth track 'La Sonnambula' is well known for the wailing aria 'Ah! Non credea mirarti' and 'E menzogna'. Making full use of transcendental technique 'three-hand', Takasu excellently makes the melodies continue singing. The amply rubato way to play just like one of operatic singer makes me think he really loves opera. This work which finishes luminously with a drastic consecution of octaves is suitable for the ending of this album. The noises of audience and the applause in the ending remind me that this performance was a live show and I'm astonished again by Takasu's extremely precise live performance. I'm enchanted by Takasu once again. _____________________________________________.