Iíve not caught up
with the first volume in this series
but volume 2 devotes a great deal
of playing time to Seixas. Blumental
was an inveterate digger up of out-of-the-way
repertoire and this disc is no exception.
Judging by the transfer this CD is
derived not from master tapes (if
they are still extant) but from LP
dubs. Iím assuming that, as with so
many Blumental discs to which Iíve
listened, they were recorded in the
1960s. Brana tends to play hot and
cold with discographic information,
sometimes giving month and year and
sometimes giving neither.
Itís wrong to cast
the pianist as a specialist in this
or that repertory. She clearly had
areas of especial excellence and concentration
but, for example, her Arensky is basically
fine and her exploration of eighteenth
century Iberian music no less so.
She covered styles and centuries with
Soler shows a strong
influence of Scarlatti, to which Blumental
responds with purely pianistic sonority.
Her fingering is light, even and persuasive;
her pedalling is light and discreet.
I donít know if she had heard Marcelle
Meyer but the playing reminded me
slightly of that great French pianist
in music of this period.
Ferrerís Sonata is
very reminiscent of Haydn and Blumental
laces it with delicious treble sonorities
and maybe just a hint of the fortepiano,
fanciful though it may be to say of
a pianist who avoids historicist concerns.
Freixanetís Sonata is another that
owes debts to Scarlatti and its relative
complexity is immediately balanced
by the very simple charms of a Toccata
in C major by an anonymous composer.
Seixas is a not uninteresting
composer whose attractive profile
is enhanced by his through absorption
of Scarlattian procedure. The allegro
of his Sonata in C builds breathlessly
though its Adagio, whilst sympathetic,
lacks distinction. It might have been
better for him to have ended this
sonata with the Allegro and to started
it with a revised Minuet, up to tempo,
as it sounds back to front. The Sonata
in D minor is concise and lightly
flecked with whimsicality and a dash
of the Iberian Gallant, a sort of
Don Quixote of a sonata in all but
length. Seixas was not averse to turning
a few rhythmic games, as he does in
Nothing here is particularly
profound or that reveals deeper currents
in Spanish and Portuguese keyboard
music. Instead itís syntheses and
assimilated music-making in the main,
neatly pointed by Blumental who enjoys
the filigree whilst going light on
the arm and foot weight.