Collection: Fireworks

Our rating 
2.0 out of 5 star rating 2.0

COMPOSERS: Collection: Fireworks
LABELS: BIS
WORKS: Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Medtner, Francescatti, Schumann, Kreisler, Ries, Halffter, Wieniawski, Bloch
PERFORMER: Vadim Gluzman (violin), Angela Yoffe (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: SACD-1652 (hybrid CD/SACD)

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After the overwrought excesses of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Rossini-based Figaro, the hot-house of Medtner’s Fairy Tale, and the clowning of Francescatti’s Polka, it’s quite a relief to discover that Vadim Gluzman does have an intimate side to his playing in Schumann’s Träumerei. Then he’s off again, in Kreisler, Ries, Halffter and Wieniawski.

The intensity which he brings to almost everything does have diminishing returns: the plangent vibrato gets very tiring when applied so universally, and Angela Yoffe’s piano-playing lacks tonal variety.

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There’s no doubting Gluzman’s technique, but it’s short on humour: something like Halffter’s Habañera needs a much more subtle sense of rubato to bring a smile to the lips. And I don’t think that I’ve ever heard Ravel’s Tzigane so accurately played, but to so little effect. Glossy sound only compounds the disappointment. Martin Cotton