Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

Florian Uhlig (piano)
Black Box BBM1054 [74 mins]

Ignace GIBSONE · Paraphrase De Concert Sur Le Carnival de Venise, Op. 10 · Johann Joseph ABERT · Chant de la Gondoliere in A flat · Franz LISZT · Canzone from 'Venezia e Napoli' S162 Richard WAGNER - Venezia, S201 · Franz Liszt Florian UHLIG Ravi Shankar - Venezia · Fryderyk CHOPIN Barcarolle in F sharp, Op. 60 · Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY · Two Venetian Gondola Songs Op. 30, No. 6, Op. 19, No. 6· Benedetto MARCELLO (arr.Uhlig) · Quella Fiamma Che M'Accende in G minor · Charles Valentin ALKAN · Barcarolle in G minor from 'Troisieme recuil de chants' Op.65, No.6 · Gian Francesco MALIPIERO · Omaggi · Franz LISZT · La Lugubre Gondola II · Baldassare GALUPPI · Sonata No. 1 in A minor · Gabriel FAURE · Barcarolle No. 1 in A minor, Op. 26 ·

The centrepiece of this recital programme is a poised and well thought-out account of the Chopin Barcarolle, about which the pianist supplies copious background information, including accounts by Von Lenz and Charles Rosen. His interpretation is on a broad scale, and made me think of a small boat at sea, the rocking movement rising and falling more than you might hope to meet with in a Venetian canal. The rest of the pieces are all brought together on the Venetian Barcarolle theme, with some of the composers so obscure that even the dates of one of them appears to be unknown to Uhlig (Ignace Gibsone). Neither he nor J J Abert can be found in New Grove. Moreover Uhlig's essay (which might be more suitable for a piano journal) tells us nothing about most of the individual items, and is mainly concerned with presenting a manifesto about 'marketable repertoire and financial frameworks', and his quest to succeed in devising 'an encyclopaedically satisfying solution to placing Chopin's Barcarolle on disc', something he seems to have found wanting in the eighty-four versions he researched! Many of the pieces are predictably lightweight, but they are played lovingly and recorded well. His arrangement of a Marcello song and a Galuppi sonata, played on the same Steinway, are not greatly illuminating in this mainly 19 C. recital. It is perhaps significant that of Fauré's wonderful series of Barcarolles, he opts to play No.1. Some of the other dozen might stretch his interpretative range in a useful direction for a follow up CD?

This one could make a nice Christmas present for piano music collectors who have got (nearly) everything.

Peter Grahame Woolf

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