One of the most grown-up review sites around


Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


16th-19th November


Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!


Nothing but Praise


BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set


Telemann continues to amaze


A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition


Another Bacewicz winner


match any I’ve heard


An outstanding centenary collection


personable, tuneful, approachable


a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.


music that will be new to most people


telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded


hitherto unrecorded Latvian music

 

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers


Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount


Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from

Frťdťric CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Seventeen Mazurkas: Op. 24 No. 4; Op. 30 Nos. 3 and 4; Op 63 Nos. 2 and 3; Op. 67 No. 4; Op. 50 No. 3; Op. 24 Nos. 1 and 2; Op. 56 No. 2; Op. 59 Nos. 1-3; Op. 67 Nos. 3 and 2; Op. 68 Nos. 2 and 4
Klara Min (piano)
rec. 17-18 September 2012, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City
DELOS DE 3443 [52:22]

I originally listened to a few of these tracks in poor streaming sound and with bad headphones and disliked them, but that turned out to be a good thing. The appeal of Klara Minís Chopin is hard to bring off in bad sound. That appeal lies in the glowing tone of her piano, closely but certainly not claustrophobically recorded, and the subtlety with which she inflects these mazurkasí rhythms. It turns out that this is actually an excellent disc.
 
For one thing, Klara Min luckily picks out as her seventeen favorite mazurkas almost all of my own favorites; for another, her rhythmic sense is, as mentioned, unerring, with any slight hesitations or halts in the dance step carefully judged. This isnít the softest-edged or most poetic of interpretations - see Garrick Ohlsson and Ivan Moravec - but itís not a clattering rush, either; Min finds a middle path. The melodies tend to be distinctive but well-crafted: contrast with Russell Shermanís recent recording, where Sherman also attempts to put a new stamp on many of these pieces but often misjudges or simply sounds bizarre. Op. 56 No. 2 is a great example of why Klara Min is so good: the main tune is very sensitively delivered, but the piece still manages to rock.
 
Others have criticized her micro-managing, and it is true that just about every phrase, every pause, is very carefully calibrated. Thatís not to say they donít sound spontaneous; they do, certainly, for the most part, with maybe Op. 67 No. 3 and other very short pieces the most noticeably studied. If youíre distracted by such playing, you should take this under consideration; Minís playing is not as free and casual as some, and itís not as lyrically inclined as others Ohlsson, say, on Hyperion, or Moravec; the contrast with Moravec is strong in Op. 68 No. 2, where Min carefully singles out every trill note while Moravec favors an impressionistic cloud. I certainly found much to enjoy here, and Iíll be happy to listen to more from this pianist when it arrives. The booklet is exceptionally in-depth, with words on every mazurka, and a two-and-a-half page artist biography which could have used a good trim.
 
Brian Reinhart