> Yoko Kikuchi - piano recital [CT]: Classical Reviews- March 2002 MusicWeb-International






Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Tudor 7188


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 


 
REVIEW

 


 

Serge RACHMANINOV (1873-1943
Prélude Op. 3 No. 2
Prélude Op. 32 No. 12
Prélude Op. 23 No. 2

Serge PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Prélude Op. 12 No. 7
Frederic CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Prélude in C sharp minor Op. 45
Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937)
Nine Préludes Op.1
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Prélude (1913)
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
Préludes
Ce qu’a vu le vent d’Ouest (Book 1 No.7) (1910)_
La fille aux cheveux de lin (Book 1 No.8) (1910)
Les fées sont d’exquises danseuses (Book 2 No.4 (1912)
Frank MARTIN (1890-1974)
Eight Préludes pour le piano (1948)
Erik SATIE (1866-1925)
Véritables Préludes Flasques (pour un chien) (1912)
Yoko Kikuchi-piano
Recorded in the Brussels Royal Conservatory, November 1995 DDD
PAVANE RECORDS ADW 7368 [71:54]

 

Experience Classicsonline

At a little over seventy-one minutes in length this is a generously filled disc although I have to say straight away that the quality of performance is somewhat variable. There is one work in particular that makes the disc worthwhile, namely the Eight Preludes of Frank Martin. Written in 1948 for Dinu Lipatti, who due to poor health was never able to play them, each of these pieces is a gem, challenging yet highly idiomatic and immediately recognisable as the work of Martin. It struck me very clearly whilst listening to this work that the ghost of Bach (one of the composer’s self confessed heroes) is rarely far away, notably in Martin’s wonderfully assured use of counterpoint, yet his highly personal melodic and harmonic language always shines through with intensity (sample one - track twenty). Kikuchi gives a secure, technically robust performance, finely capturing the, by turns, haunting, profound, sometimes even whimsical nature of each prelude. The final prelude, marked Vivace, with its echoes of the Petite Symphonie Concertante of three years earlier, forms a particularly satisfying, finely played conclusion to the work (sample two - track twenty six).

In many ways it is a shame that the only other complete work on the disc is Szymanowski’s Opus One set of Nine Preludes, for other than the Martin this interesting and impressively assured early work undoubtedly draws the finest playing from Kikuchi. There is sensitivity on display here that does not always surface in the other works on the disc. As an example the sixth prelude (sample three - track eleven), marked lento mesto, is beautifully realised whereas Debussy’s The Girl with the Flaxen Hair (sample three - track seventeen) is somewhat emotionally detached in comparison. By the same token it may have been a mistake to open the disc with Rachmaninov’s famous Prelude in C sharp minor, for anyone who is used to this work in a performance by an acknowledged master is likely to find this performance sterile and lacking in depth, as I did.

Elsewhere on the disc Prokofiev’s Opus 12 No. 7 Prélude receives an adequate performance as do Satie’s typically eccentric Three Flaccid Preludes (for a dog). The Chopin and Debussy come off less successfully, ultimately lacking strength of character as well as the optimum degree of refinement in the playing.

I suspect that Kikuchi’s talents would have been better served if this disc had been made up of three major works rather than the collection of "fillers" that we have been given. Certainly the Martin and Szymanowski offer much to enjoy although the lingering impression is that Kikuchi fails to get "inside" the other works in the same way.

Pavane’s recorded sound is adequate with a good dynamic range although the booklet notes are disappointing both in content and translation.

Christopher Thomas.



 



Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.