Gerard Hoffnung CDs
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]
rec. Stillwater Sound Recording Studio, San Francisco, California,
no dates given.
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.
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
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
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
Gerard Hoffnung CDs
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