One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider

TROUBADISC

Reger Violin Sonatas
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Brahms Symphony 3
Dvorak Symphony 8
Vivaldi
9 cello sonatas
Dussek
Piano Music

Clara Schumann
piano concerto

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

Vraiment magnifique!


Quite splendid


Winning performances


Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc


a huge talent


A wonderful disc


Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!


Roth’s finest Mahler yet


Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance

 


AVAILABILITY Stillwater Sound

Frederic CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Etudes, Op. 25, Nos. 1-12 (1832-36) [31:43]
Trois Nouvelles Etudes (1839) [6:03]
Deux Posthumous Nocturnes [5:51]
Tomoko Hagiwara (piano)
rec. Stillwater Sound Recording Studio, San Francisco, California, no dates given.
STILLWATER SOUND SWS011 [43:46]



Chopin, unlike any composer before or since, was able to make beautiful music out of just about anything. This quality is exemplified in his two sets of Etudes for piano, music that presents both Herculean technical challenges and sublime ear candy. To play them well is to make them seem effortless while simultaneously expressing a deep sense of poetry.
 
Tomoko Hagiwara has an impressive resume having gained recognition in a couple of prestigious competitions. She also has a formidable pedagogical lineage, and holds an important post in a major American music conservatory. One wonders on first glance why her name is rather unfamiliar.
 
The highest praise that I can muster is “not bad.” At best this is good undergraduate playing. In the faster more brilliant etudes we can hear the effort going into getting all of the notes in place. In the slower more melodic works, there is a decided lack of line. One particularly longs for the singing line that say, Rubinstein achieves in the Op. 25, No. 7 etude which features a longing solo melody in the left hand. The so-called Winter Wind etude thunders along more like a winter truck, and the cascades of descending notes are blurred and sloppy. I could go on with a blow by blow of each work, but I think you get the idea.
 
This disc is one of a sizable series of discs that covers a wide range of the standard piano repertoire, and I will give a few of the others a listen lest I dismiss an artist’s work solely on one recording. However, there is little here either in terms of technical brilliance or innate musicality to make me run to the shelf for more.
 
Add to the mediocre playing some utterly useless program notes and you wonder just what they are teaching at the San Francisco Conservatory. They are so steeped in saccharine attempts to be poetic that they could pass for a Hallmark greeting card.
 
Sonics are acceptable, but the natural reverberation of a large hall would have been a nice touch.
 
Adequate at best, lame program notes and less than stellar sound make this recording less than desirable. ... see Full Review
 
Kevin Sutton
 

 

 

 

We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.