The title of the disc
is rather didactic – it sounds like
an earnest module of a Workers Education
Class – but in fact it resembles nothing
less than one of those Popular orchestral
concerts where the audience gets to
vote to hear either Ruslan and Ludmilla
or Vltava. Actually we have
them both here so no choosing is necessary.
Whatever the alleged prop this is a
good old-fashioned disc that, alas,
won’t really be of very much interest
except for the pianism of Tamara Kerzerov,
born in Uruguay, raised in Argentina
and who studied there with Hubert Brandenburg.
Her performance of the Chopin F minor
Concerto is appealing. The playing is
straightforward, in the best sense,
and poetic, and sensitive to nuance.
Her technique is strong and tonally
she’s well balanced (rather more than
can be said for the recording). She’s
rather too far forward and this tends
to diffuse the orchestral counter-themes
and to make the accompaniment too distant.
Nevertheless though she’s too far forward
to convey the full intimacy of the slow
movement she shows herself to be a musician
of calibre and romantic instinct.
One of the reasons
this must be a "Friends and Admirers"
disc is the programme. There sounds
like a splice in one of the Brahms Hungarian
Dances (No.1 at 2.58 but I could be
wrong) and Finlandia tends to bring
out those old raucous Russian brass
genes. Vltava moves slowly here, Vakhtang
Jordania stressing the lyrical at the
expense of the visceral. There’s just
not enough sheer mass around here and
the conclusion is ill-paced – but I
liked the bass line pointing in the
Rapids. What also does for this disc
is the recording – rather resonant and
boomy, with the percussion sounding
especially badly focused. I can’t hear
an audience and the location isn’t specified.
It could be a broadcast for all I know
but obviously I can’t advance a recommendation
– except for those who might want to
listen to Kerzerov.
See also review
by Ian Lace who was more favourably
disposed towards this disc