COMPOSERS: Brahms,Chopin,Godowsky,Granados,J Strauss (Arr. Schulz-Evler),Levitzki,Liszt,Mignone,Ol Fernandez,Villa-Lobos,Weber
LABELS: Intim Musik
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: The Waltz Album
PERFORMER: Clélia Iruzun (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: IMCD 077
This is a generally imaginative programme by a thoroughly musical and capable pianist, well played and recorded, and musicianly throughout. The idea of mixing the familiar with the less familiar is nothing new, of course (though that doesn’t rob it of its validity), but the success or failure of the choice can be decisive. Most welcome here are the waltzes by Villa-Lobos, Mignone, Fernandez and Levitzki – most welcome because least familiar – and like everything else, they’re excellently played.
But why choose as a counter-weight repertoire which has been superlatively, and in several cases incomparably, played (and recorded, and reissued) by some of the greatest pianists who ever lived – most notably Schnabel in the Weber, Lhévinne in the Schulz-Evler, and a host of others where the Brahms, Chopin and Liszt items are concerned? Comparisons are proverbially odious, but how can
you play what amount to supreme virtuosos’ theme songs and expect their own recordings to remain absent from the minds of listeners who are also connoisseurs? How much more engrossing, particularly given the overall neutrality of the present performances (however musicianly) to hear more of the less familiar. More Villa-Lobos, more Mignone, more Fernandez. An all-Brazilian programme, perhaps. Maybe next time. Jeremy Siepmann