STUCKY: Four Album Leaves. Three Little Varitions
for David. LUTOSLAWSKI:
Sonata for Piano. SALONEN: Yta. Three Preludes. Dichotomi
GODOWSKY: Symphonic Metamorphoses on Johann Strauss II's
Die Fledermaus and
Wein, Weib und Gesang. Excerpts from Walzermasken. Excerpts
OSCAR STRAUSS:The Last Waltz.
GOLTZ: Complete works for solo piano: Scherzo in E minor. 24 Preludes,
Op. 2. CHOPIN: Nocturne in F, Op. 15 No. 1. Waltz in B minor, Op. 69 No.
2. Nocturne in D flat, Op. 27 No. 2. Polonaise in A flat, Op. 53.
BEETHOVEN: Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata." BRAHMS:
Intermezzo No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 117. SCHUMANN: Carnaval,
Op. 9. CHOPIN: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23. Etude in E minor, Op.
5. LISZT: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12 in C-sharp minor. VILLA-LOBOS: O
polichinelo from A prole do bebe
TCHAIKOVSKY: Nutcracker Suite (with Mirabela Dina). RACHMANINOFF: Suite
No. 2, Op. 17 (with Gabriela Montero). Six Morceaux, Op. 11 (with Lilya
Zilberstein). BRAHMS: Sonata in F minor, Op. 34a (with Lilya Zilberstein).
Variations on a theme by Haydn (with Polina Leschenko). PROKOFIEV: Symphony
No. 1 in D "Classical." (with Yefim Bronfman). LUTOSLAWSKI: Variations
on a Theme by Paganini (with Giuorgia Tomassi).
Here are five fascinating piano recordings. Gloria Cheng already
has to her credit more than a dozen fine recordings, mostly of contemporary
music in which she specializes. This Telarc disk offers stunning, brilliant
performances of works by Stucky, Lutoslawski, and three by her close
friend Esa-Pekka Salonen: Dichotomie, Three Preludes and Yta.
All of the music on this CD is engaging listening—no plink, plank,
plunk here. This is a scintillating
71 minute program, and Telarc's engineering is of their usual
Marc-André Hamelin already has recorded a number of works of
Leopold Godowsky including the complete studies on Chopin etudes (REVIEW) and
the massive E-minor sonata. Now we have a collection primarily of waltz
ending with a rarity, Oscar Strauss's The Last Waltz. Hamelin,
of course, tosses all of these off with the great of ease, but I find
no matter how well played, these arrangements often are repetitious
and a little goes a long way. If the repertory interests you, you will
not find it presented better elsewhere.
The Arthur Rubinstein program was recorded in a concert in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, April 20, 1963. The pianist was 76 at the time, and would return to Holland ten years later to film concertos of Beethoven and Brahms with Bernard Haitink and the Concertgebouw Orchestra (REVIEW). Rubinstein's playing on both occasions is in the grand style, technically assured, beautiful in tone—and very well recorded. It's a pleasure to hear him briefly announce his encore, Villa-Lobos' O polichinelo which he then plays with incredible virtuosity.The composer was a friend of his, and Rubinstein gave the premiere of this in 1922. This is an essential CD for collectors.
The Martha Argerich collection brings together a number of live concert recordings of music for two pianos made during the Lugano Festival in 2002 and 2004. She is heard with six other pianists in repertory that obviously is close to her—in all cases she has recorded this music with other pianists. These fine performances have been issued previously, and now we have them at a reduced price on two well-filled disks.
R.E.B. (October 2008)