for an SACD, the initial impression of this disc is of a rather
muffled sound in the mid-range. The top register, however,
is appropriately bright, even a touch too much so. The brightness
certainly fits the explosive Polonaise which opens
the programme, and Leningrad-trained Vincour does enjoy himself,
even within the constraints of the studio. Technical considerations
matter little. He played Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto
with the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra under Mravinsky
at the age of thirteen!. It is interesting that melting lyricism
is also part of Vincour’s talents, as the gentle Berceuse
and the arrangement of Op. 16 No. 4 - from which the disc
gets its name - clearly show. There is just the tiniest of
suspicions of literalness in the inner voices of the latter,
though. Que j’importe is hardly any less lovely, but
with an element of play that is most appealing.
Perpetuum mobile is extremely famous. Tchaikovsky arranges
it so that the roles of the two hands are reversed. Vincour
meets the challenge head-on but is just a tad studio-bound.
Hints of a lightness that would befit Mendelssohn are not
Seasons is possibly Tchaikovsky’s most frequently recorded work for solo piano.
on Pavane can be quickly dispensed with; fans of Pletnev
should find little to quarrel with in his traversal, however.
Vincour can hold his head up high, for he captures the melancholy
at the heard of this cycle excellently. Only February -
an Allegro giusto in D major - is laboured, while June
suffers from some clanginess towards the end. Yet one can
easily enjoy the ‘horns’ of September and December’s
delightful Waltz. These pieces are arguably Tchaikovsky at
his most Schumannesque in terms of perfectly-crafted miniatures.
the Dumka, is here imbued with fine fantasy and assured
virtuoso playing. Again there is the feeling of the studio-bound,
though. One feels that live, Vincour would throw caution more
to the wind.
mixed reaction, then. Fine if not demonstration class recording
meets fine if not exhibition class playing.