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Ingolf Wunder: 300
Works by Scarlatti, Mozart, Chopin, Koczalski, Liszt, Debussy, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninov, Scriabin, Moszkowski, Horowitz, Volodos, Morricone, Williams
See end of review for track-listing
Ingolf Wunder (piano)
rec. June 2012, Theater Itzehoe, Itzehoe, Germany
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 0084 [72:44]

Ingolf Wunder’s piano recital is named “300” because it spans 300 years of music and commemorates Wunder’s 300th professional concert. It’s a weird mixture of sonatas by Mozart and Scarlatti, rarities by Koczalski and Horowitz, and sweet little encores like Clair de lune, Flight of the Bumblebee and the theme from Star Wars.
 
Much of it is very well-played. Wunder’s approach is that of a poet-lyricist, so his Mozart sonata actually comes off very well, with little adornment or showboating. Likewise the very good - if rather fast - Chopin Berceuse and the waltz by Koczalski, a composer whose name I’d never heard before. The Scarlatti is an understated opener to the recital, played in a quietly eloquent way that makes me wish for more; Clair de lune is lovely and Moszkowski’s Étincelles have all the needed champagne fizz. The Arcadi Volodos “paraphrase” of Mozart’s Rondo alla turca serves as a reminder of Wunder’s qualities in Mozart, and as a pretty enjoyable surprise.
 
Regrets, I have a few. The Scriabin etude Op. 8 No. 12, so fantastically performed by Horowitz and Sudbin and others, is here heard with no personality and no sharp edges. Franz Liszt’s Csárdás macabre is well-done but doesn’t really belong on the program. Something tells me that more serious, sober classical fans will raise their eyebrows at the inclusion of Star Wars, but I personally love the idea. The problem is the music selected: since it’s the title theme, there’s no alluding to many of the film’s most memorable tunes, and yet the arrangement goes on for six minutes when it probably could have been three. It’s still an enjoyable ending … and grandly played.
 
Are you in the market for this kind of recital? If so, here’s a talented pianist with a penchant for Mozart who would probably be adept at baroque and classical repertoire, as well as the simpler, more lyrical works of the twentieth century. I enjoyed 300 a lot more than I expected. For his next recital, maybe Ingolf Wunder can persuade Deutsche Grammophon to produce a creative pairing like Scarlatti and Mompou.
 
Brian Reinhart
 
Track List
Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757)
Sonata in B minor, K 87 [5:25]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Sonata No. 13 in B flat, K 333 [20:58]
Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Berceuse in D flat [4:39]
Raoul KOCZALSKI (1884-1948)
Valse fantastique in B minor, Op. 49 [3:04]
Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Csárdás macabre [7:50]
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1928)
Clair de lune [5:18]
Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908)
Flight of the Bumblebee (arr. Rachmaninov) [1:17]
Sergey RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
Prelude in G minor, Op 23 No 5 [3:50]
Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915)
Etude in D sharp minor, Op 8 No 12 [2:14]
Moritz MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925)
Étincelles [2:57]
Vladimir HOROWITZ (1903-1989)
Danse excentrique (Moment exotique) [2:34]
Mozart/Arcadi VOLODOS (1972- )
Paraphrase on “Rondo alla turca” [3:42]
Ennio MORRICONE (b.1928)
Playing Love, from The Legend of 1900 [3:04]
John WILLIAMS (b.1932)
Main Title from Star Wars (arr. Ingolf Wunder and Martin Romberg) [5:50]