This is a recital of
very sombre and reflective music, joined
with the mystical exoticism of the Ginastera.
Generally people who don’t care for
classical music will call up "depressing"
pieces like this to make their case.
In other words, pianist Amalong is refusing
to cater to any "crossover"
sentiments. This is serious classical
music for people who love classical
music and no apologies expected. Pianist
Amalong is a virtuoso of the first order
and plays and achieves a distinctively
intense, reflective mood which perhaps
reaches its most intense in the adagio
molto appassionato of the Ginastera
Sonata. The following Ruvido ed ostinato
is the most boisterous piece on the
disk, and even more derivative of the
Prokofiev Seventh Sonata than the first
movement allegro marcato was.
format loads FlashMedia 6 (25 MB+ free
hard disk space required) on your computer
and offers access to a panel of information
for each selection, more extensive than
that printed on the paper folder in
the jewel case. If you have no computer,
the CD will play in the normal manner
in your CD player. If you have autorun
disabled on your computer (as I do),
you need to run "Storia.exe"
from Explorer or the Windows Run panel;
and from within this program you may
select and run the music tracks. I recommend
that you either listen to the disk all
the way through in the conventional
manner, or run Storia.exe and pick one
piece at a time to listen to while reading
the notes on the computer screen. If
you navigate within the program while
music is playing the music will stop.
There is no mention in the notes of
Apple computer compatibility and I have
no way of testing that.
The music on this disk
is generally quite well known with the
exception of the last piece, written
by a Catholic priest friend of the performer.
The work is generally effective, but
in this company sounds somewhat facile
and is an unfortunate choice for the
last work on the disk. This one work
by a priest points up the religious
variety among the composers on the disk
with music by the Protestant Bach, militant
Atheist Prokofiev and the gently Agnostic
Brahms alongside the presumably Catholic
Ginastera and Granados. Comparing these
performances with others, one notes
that the others generally play more
incisively and with more drama, whereas
Armalong is unrelievedly introverted.
Even during vigorous allegro
passages, there is a sense that he is
pulling his punches—or, to put it another
way, he brings no sense of flamboyance,
brilliance, or showmanship to his interpretation.