Le printemps Op. 25 (La primavera) [5:35]
Plainte (Queja). Elegía No. 1. Op. 17 (1867) [3:54]
Ballade (Balada) Op. 15 (c.1867) [7:22]
Intermezzo Op. 34 [1:50]
La corbeille de fleurs (La cesta de flores) Valse Op. 9 (c.1867)
Mazurka de salon Op. 30 [3:06]
Un bal en rêve. (Un baile en sueños) [5:10]
Partie (Partida) Elegía No. 2 Op. 18 (1867) [4:33]
La fausse note (La nota falsa) Op. 39 [4:13]
Un rêve en mer. (Un sueño en el mar) Op. 28 [5:28]
Kleiner Waltzer (Mi Teresita) [3:28]
Le sommeil de l'enfant (El sueño del niño) Op.
Vals gayo (1910) [4:44]
Venise (Venecia) Op. 33 [2:45]
Une revue à Prague (Una revista en Praga) [4:51]
Clara Rodriguez (piano)
rec. Complejo Teresa Carreño Sala José Félix
Ribas, Caracas, 2002 NIMBUS NI 6103
Venezuelan-born Teresa Carreño was one of the most fêted and tempestuous pianists of her day. She was married four times - her first husband was the elite violinist Emile Sauret, the third Eugen d'Albert, and the last was her former brother-in-law. She also composed, almost entirely morceaux, generally speaking written early on in her world-touring career. Though she didn't record on disc she did make some piano rolls.
We get off to an ebullient start with Le printemps with its pert dance, which shows the composer's powerhouse technical resources and ebullient, winning personality. Plainte (Queja). Elegía No. 1 is by contrast a more searching expressive work which enshrines a winning tristesse. The rolled chord drama and pomposo dignity that preface the Ballade lead to virtuosic roulades of Lisztian profusion, intensely pianistic and dramatic. The Intermezzo is a frisky genre piece whilst the skittish beat displacements and hesitations of La corbeille de fleurs give one a glimpse of her humour and wit. The Chopin-sounding Mazurka de salon is gracefully assertive. But she also mines - albeit in a limited expressive compass - more subcutaneous feelings in the Partie, written on the death of her mother when the composer was fourteen.
If contemporary players want a new sweetmeat to enlarge their encore repertoire they could do worse than to disinter that capricious salon charmer, La fausse note. Chopin haunts Un rêve en mer, and there's tremendous brio in Kleiner Waltzer, whilst a saucy rocking rhythm inhabits Le sommeil de l'enfant. Whilst none of these pieces is especially brilliant they are all richly characterful and wholly pianistic, as one would expect from one of the acknowledged virtuosi of the day. Rather more interesting perhaps is Vals gayo with its touches of Latin Americana, a late work dating from 1910. What Une revue à Prague loses in its relative conventionality it makes up for in respect of its vitality and energy.
These last qualities are true of Clara Rodriguez who plays the recital in the wholly appropriate locale of the Teresa Carreño Sala José Félix Ribas, Caracas. The recordings date from 2002 so their appearance now - I'm not aware if they've had distribution before - is welcome. She plays moreover with verve and colour and unpugnacious style .I listened to the admittedly ambiguous results of Teresa Carreño's own piano roll of Kleiner Waltzer [Welte Mignon 371, released on Pierian CD 0022] and even allowing for the jerky results, enough can be intuited to say that Rodriguez has done a splendid job all round.
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