Ippolitov-Ivanov, Saint-Sa‘ns, Dussek, Glinka, Bax & Ravel

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Bax & Ravel,Dussek,Glinka,Ippolitov-Ivanov,Saint-Sa‘ns
LABELS: Deux-Elles
WORKS: Works by Ippolitov-Ivanov, Saint-Saëns, Dussek, Glinka, Bax & Ravel
PERFORMER: Fibonacci Sequence
Chamber works starring the harp are not so plentiful that Gillian Tingay and her fellow ‘Fibs’ can afford to ignore Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro. The light and shade of its thematic treasures, all of them beautifully nuanced by this outstanding ensemble, proclaims this as the one true masterpiece on this CD as it crowns a well-conceived sequence of lesser gems. Tingay calls the tune with a muscular cadenza to Ippolitov-Ivanov’s Evening in Georgia and keeps level-pegging with Christine Sohn’s deliciously adaptable violin in Saint-Saëns’s chameleon-like Fantasy. The Classical and early Romantic representatives are far less memorable, but there’s a neat harp twist to the second-movement coda of the Dussek Sonata and the instrument gets to lead the way in the ensuing rondo. Bax’s intriguingly varied Elegiac Trio is one of many good choices taken by the group, entertainingly underlined by Kathron Sturrock’s booklet-note conversations with Tingay. The sound is the only problem. Its realistic dryness would be fine as a live experience, and the players still work their magic against the ungiving acoustics, but a bit of studio cushioning would have made for more attractive home listening. David Nice