Frydéryk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Nocturne
Nocturne, Op. 72, No.1 (1827) (arranged by Sergei Taneyev) [4:43]
Prelude, Op.28, No.6 (1836-38) [1:58]
Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 65 (1845-46) [30:06]
Prelude, Op.28, No.4 1838) (arr. Mørk and Stott) [2:29]
Waltz, Op.34, No.2 (1831) [6:27]
Nocturne (after Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op. Posth (1830) arr. Mørk and Stott)
Introduction et Polonaise brillante in C major, Op.3 (1829, Introduction 1830)
Nocturne, Op.55, No.2 (1843) [4:58]
Étude, Op.25, No.7 (1836) (arr. Glazunov) [5:41]
Étude, Op.10, No.6 (1830) (arr. Glazunov) [3:56]
Truls Mørk (cello)
Kathryn Stott (piano)
rec. 21-23 September 2006, Østre Fredrikstad Church, Norway. DDD VIRGIN CLASSICS 3857842 [74:06]
There are some truly
lovely sounds here. The playing is of remarkable eloquence and
tonal beauty but it does come at some cost. It’s been very closely
miked and one can hear Truls Mørk’s frequent intakes of breath.
I mention this at the outset because, for all the luminous pleasures
on offer, there are some who will resist the cellist’s gasps
and will find the recording set-up too unhelpful in this respect.
For those who can
banish such things – not exactly a trifle in this case, but
nevertheless relatively unimportant – there are some wonders
to hear. Mørk is one of the most admirable of contemporary players,
one seemingly incapable of making ugly sounds. He’s formed a
powerful and intensely expressive partnership with Kathryn Stott
and in this recording of the Cello Sonata he has superseded
his earlier traversal with Andsnes.
Tonal beauty is
allied to a finely exercised sense of the sonata’s architecture.
It’s a reading of mellifluous fluency and elegance; the moderato
indication is rightly stressed in the first movement but there’s
nothing rhythmically flaccid or self-regarding about the tonal
resources on offer. It’s true that it’s not a performance that
radiates the allure of Rostropovich and Argerich on DG 4198602 or the tensile
incision of Starker and Sebok [Mercury 434358] but it does possess
very considerable independent qualities of its own. High amongst
them is expressive generosity – the well-judged second movement
rubati for instance – and there is no over-intensity in the
B section, something of which some pairings are guilty. The
slow movement is notable for its sheer finesse and refinement – dynamics
are assured and never self-serving.
et Polonaise brillante in C major brings some welcome bite and
spruce rhythmic dynamism. Note too Stott’s compelling pianism
and the brilliance of her right hand colouration. The remainder of the programme is given over to arrangements. The
two musicians have transcribed the Prelude Op.28 No.4 and its
beautiful cantabile, with splendid equalized scale, and its
hint of melancholia work very well. Mørk
and Stott also do the honours with the Nocturne [C sharp minor,
op. posth.] which has a Spanish tinge. The Op.55 No.2 Nocturne
has an especially compelling and plangent pianissimo ending.
But all these arrangements reflect well on transcribers – including
Taneyev and Glazunov – and performers. They’re played with as
much tonal and expressive control as the sonata – no slumming
here or indeed exaggerated phrasing.
Naturalness is all
in this refined and splendidly elegant recital.
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