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  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    




Terence Judd (piano). Homage 1
Franz LISZT (1811-1886)

Sonata in B minor S178
Sposalizio (No 1 from Années de pèlerinage, deuxième année Italie) S161
La Campanella (No 3 from Etudes d’exécution transcendente d’après Paganini) S140
Hungarian Rhapsody No 11 in A minor S244
Frederic CHOPIN (1810-1849)

Nocturne in B major Op 32 No 1
Etude in A minor Op 25 No 11
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)

Noctuelles (No 1 from Miroirs)
Anatol Konstantinovich LYADOV (1855-1914)

A Musical Snuffbox (Valse-Badinage
Terence Judd (piano)
Recorded at the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in 1978 (Sonata, La Campanella, Etude), Broadcasting House Concert Hall, London January 1978 (Nocturne) and New Gallery, London October 1977 (remainder)
CHANDOS CHAN 10004 [64.36]



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It’s salutary to reflect that, had he not died, Terence Judd would still be only forty-five. His suicide in 1979 at the age of twenty-two registered a similar weight of loss as had the much earlier suicide of Noel Mewton-Wood. Both pianists’ talent could but have deepened and broadened, even though their recorded legacy is significant and enriching. In the case of Judd Chandos has been devoted to his memory and this latest tribute, Volume 1 of their Homage, has notes by compiler Bryce Morrison and as its centrepiece the Liszt Sonata. The compilation includes BBC broadcasts and performances from Judd’s blazing Moscow Competition recital and the hour’s worth displays a formidable technical armoury, expressive qualities to match, considerable colouristic flair and a strong temperament.

The Sonata in B minor was recorded in Moscow in 1978 at the Competition Finals (as were La Campanella and the Chopin Etude). It receives a powerful reading, romantic and expressive in the Recitativo, with clarity and wit in the Allegro energico that burgeons into drama and flame – some awesome playing here. Then again there is the almost preternaturally mature Liszt playing of the twenty-one year old in the Più mosso or the way in which he flecks the treble with audacity and beauty in the Stretta quasi presto. He layers depth in the Lento assai to moving effect. His credentials are further cemented by the intensity and rapture of his playing of Sposalizio and the drama of La Campanella – albeit some is too rushed. The fearsome leaps at such a fast tempo are undoubtedly exciting – this is live wire playing after all, at an international competition – but a little uncomfortably so. He is powerful but equally playful in the csárdás of the Hungarian Rhapsody. If I find his Chopin playing on this showing somewhat inferior to his Liszt it’s mainly to do with elasticity of tempo, because it’s otherwise sensitive playing – and his Debussy comes as a reminder that Judd was not simply a powerhouse virtuoso, remaining sensitive to colour and nuance and acute levels of arm weight.

There is much to regret in Judd’s early death but much remains to show not simply what a musician he could have become but, rather, what a musician he already was.

Jonathan Woolf



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