ONLY PIANO ALBUM YOU WILL EVER NEED
RCA VICTOR 75605 51366
2 2 CD set
In booklet colours more worthy of Liberace RCA pitch this album at the Kaytel
and Walmart quartile. That market is not knowledgeable but knows that it
might enjoy some familiar fare in a package that is cheaper and has a long
playing time. Across the two discs there are 27 tracks with most being of
The music? There is a tenebrous magic in Mikhail's Kazakevich's C sharp minor
Prelude of Rachmaninov. The same pianist's Traumerei
(misspelt in the booklet) is a little on the lumpen side. Ricardo Castro's
Minute Waltz is not at all special. On the other hand Alfredo Perl's
Moonlight Sonata Adagio is lovingly spun. Castro is better
in the Rondo alla Turca (Mozart). Ewa Poblocka is the tranced
pianist in the 2nd movement of Grieg's piano concerto. She is accompanied
by a secure and responsive Polish RSO/Tadeusz Wojciechowski.
The slippery shimmer of Liszt's Feux Follets is well put across
by Perl. John Browning blasts through the Chopin Revolutionary
study - not his finest hour. Geza Anda's renowned 'Elvira Madigan'
andante is self-recommending. John Lenehan dreams carefully through
Satie's Gymnopédie No. 1. Debussy's Flaxen
Haired Girl and the Für Elise seem not quite to gel in Andrew
Wilde's hands. Horowitz's Mephisto Waltz No. 1 is explosively suggestive
of Stravinsky and Bartok. The finale of Rach 2 (nice choice there
rather than the more predictable first movement) is in the competent hands
of Evelyn Chen with the Philharmonia conducted by Leonard Slatkin. Worthy
if not the 'full article'.
Nadia Rubanenko's Impromptu D899 No 3 does not have the poise necessary.
But Kathryn Stott's Clair de Lune is spot-on - poise and enchantment
meet as they do in her Ravel Pavane. Then more
Beethoven; Emanuel Ax has the requisite charm and snappiness to bring
to the finale of the Emperor. Conspirators are the RPO and Andre Previn.
Andrew Wilde's Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring misses the mark - jerky
not smoothly strolling. Chen with her earlier 'running mates' takes us on
a sleepy amble through Rachmaninov's Paganini Variation 18.
Kazakevich is subtle and expressive in Brahms' Intermezzo Op 118
No. 2. Liszt's well known Liebestraume No 3 is in Stott's
safe hands. Michael Boriskin projects a rather rigid The Entertainer
(Joplin). Ricardo Castro gives an aristocratic Chopin
Nocturne Op 9 No 2 though a tad earthbound. Boriskin's Rhapsody
in Blue (finale) is competent but does not fly. Ludovico's Einaudi's
Le Onde (The Waves) is directly redolent of the Nyman music
for The Piano. The disc ends with cobwebs banished by a cold blast
- the finale of Tchaik 1 with Chen on good form.
Nice single width case. Rudimentary notes by Andrew Dalton.
Nothing special to write home about. A useful intro for the beginner but
rarely the best. Perl and Kazakevich stand out in this sometimes stolid company.