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

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger              Founding Editor: Rob Barnett              Contact Seen and Heard here

Some items
to consider

  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
  • Mozart Flute Quartets
  • Schubert complete piano works
  • Sammartini: 6 Concerti grossi
  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
 
Tudor



CD and Blue-ray Audio


CD and Blue-ray Audio


CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation


Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it


Jonathan Dove


Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music


Organ Fireworks


Highly Entertaining


A triumphant performance


Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard


A most joy-inducing recording


A winning partnership


A Lohengrin to treasure.

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Variations on Bach’s Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen [16:28]
Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915)
Sonata No. 9, “Messe noire” [9:48]
Nikolai MEDTNER (1880-1951)
Improvisation No. 2 [29:33]
Fritz KREISLER (1875-1962)
Liebesfreud (arr. Rachmaninov) [7:40]
Poom Prommachart (piano)
rec. 10-12 March 2014, Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex, UK
CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD104 [63:30]

Poom Prommachart’s debut recital has one of the most interesting programmes I’ve seen in years. It’s very serious and spiritual in nature, beginning with Liszt’s Bach variations, which are, as Prommachart points out in his booklet essay, a struggle with the recent death of his daughter. Liszt, Prommachart says, wanted desperately to keep his religious faith, but also wanted to blame God for his suffering. So this is a huge, often stark score, of nearly primeval emotional power, reminiscent of the Bach/Busoni Chaconne or the Franck Prelude, chorale, et fugue.

Even bigger is Nikolai Medtner’s Improvisation No. 2. I’m waiting for my “breakthrough moment” with Medtner; he still seems, to me, like a gifted composer with a weakness for chaotic disorganization. That’s certainly true of this piece, which, true to its name, twists and turns for 27 minutes, going first in one direction and then another. They are mostly interesting directions, and many of the episodes are superb. The first is a gentle wintry song, the fourth (“Winged Dancers”) a superbly light Lisztian scherzo. The key to Improvisation No. 2 is that, despite its name, it is in fact a suite of character pieces, and while there are variations on a theme, the variations are so elaborate that tracing thematic development is a bit of a lost cause. It’s an intriguing work, but manage your expectations.

Prommachart, a Thai pianist, is a gifted performer who recently graduated with a slew of honours from the Royal College of Music. One of those honours, the Tagore Gold Medal, is awarded to two distinguished College graduates each year and conferred by the Prince of Wales. On the evidence here, the Royal College of Music judged his talent well, for Prommachart skilfully handles the twists and turns of the two big pieces, building the Liszt work’s emotional arc as carefully as a pianist twice his age. It’s a work that has both solemn nocturnes and the composer’s trademark cascades of notes. Neither challenge is too much for this pianist. [He is one of the few pianists in recent years to have championed Bliss's Piano Concerto which he did at Worthing with conductor John Gibbons on 9 November 2014. Ed.]

He’s also impressive in the programme’s smaller works. I’m not sure Scriabin’s Messe noire has ever been the third-billed piece on a programme before, but it is suitably spooky here, especially since Prommachart has it undercutting the optimistic ending of the Liszt work. Having said that, Russian pianists in recent years - like Alexander Melnikov and Yevgeny Sudbin - have made me accustomed to an even greater level of demonic energy and violence. The Kreisler/Rachmaninov encore, Liebesfreud, is perfect. Champs Hill’s recorded sound is as good as ever, making this an excellent calling-card for a young pianist whose repertoire choices and performing skills are as intriguing as his name. It’s a highly attractive disc overall, especially if you like Medtner more than I do.

Brian Reinhart



 

 




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical



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
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger