One of the most grown-up review sites around


2019
51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


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

Some items
to consider

TROUBADISC

colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin


Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti


Bax Piano Music


Guillaume LEKEU


Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website



Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases


Superior performance


Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons
Notable


Verdi Requiem Thielemann


Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital


Arnold Bax
Be converted


this terrific disc


John Buckley
one of my major discoveries


François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3

........................................

Bryden Thomson


Symphonies


Vaughan Williams Concertos


RVW Orchestral

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Poetic Piano Sonatas
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Sonata No.21 in C major, Op.53 Waldstein (1804) [23:42]
Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1839)
Piano Sonata No.2 in B flat minor, Op.35 (1839) [25:28]
Bela BARTÓK (1881-1945)
Piano Sonata, Sz80 (1926) [13:03]
Olga Jegunova (piano)
rec. January, April and May 2015, Henry Wood Hall, London
MUSIC & MEDIA MMC114 [62:15]

There’s a cultural cross-pollination at work in this disc which embodies music and poetry. The poetry – the poems are printed in full in the booklet – is linked to the music of Beethoven, Chopin and Bartók. The first is Goethe’s May Song, the second Pasternak’s 1956 Music – which does cite Chopin as well as Tchaikovsky by name – whilst the third is a contemporary poem called There was for dread the scaled, tall-tailed girl who danced behind locked doors. This deliberate mouthful was written by Abigail Parry in 2016 especially for this project and represents the Bartókian element in the programming. How far this matters is up to the listener, but I think it best falls into the freely associative end of things. I’m here to review the music.

Young pianist Olga Jegunova, who confesses she is inspired, as she should be, by poetry, choreography and indeed all the arts, has selected three sonatas spanning different time periods and geographical borders. She is a clean, musical player whose unexaggerated, focused approach pays dividends. Her Chopin sonata is technically efficient and thoroughly engaging. Maybe she employs too much rubato in the opening movement – I find she slows down rather too overtly – but she phrases very sympathetically in the B section of the Scherzo and there are no extremes in the Funeral March. This is scaled, refined playing – calm, fluent and architecturally secure.

Her Waldstein sonata has clarity and sufficient urgency coupled with fine precision captured with suitable clarity in the Henry Wood Hall in London She catches that strange sense of dislocation in the central movement, albeit doesn’t plumb the depths as a Schnabel or a Backhaus can. There’s plenty of temperament to be heard in her up-to-tempo finale; her stalking left hand figures are especially good.

The third sonata is the least well-known - Bartók’s 1926 work in three movements. Rhythmically vivid and engaging she plays with considerable vitality. It’s only when one turns to an old-timer like György Sándor that one encounters a more incisive and varied colouristic palette and rhythmic demarcations. Still, Jegunova gives a fine account of herself, though her repeated phrases in the central movement sound rather dull in comparison with the alive, prismically voiced Sándor. Her tone remains somewhat thicker and richer in the finale which means it’s a mite less mobile and folklorically inflected than Sándor’s more coolly percussive and outdoorsy playing. Still, this newcomer is certainly individual and personable.

This is a good calling card for Jegunova.

Jonathan Woolf

 

 



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger