CPE Bach, Cage, Mansurian, Liszt, Glinka, Chopin, Silvestrov, Debussy, Bart—k

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Bartok,Cage,Chopin,CPE Bach,Debussy,Glinka,Liszt,Mansurian,Silvestrov
LABELS: ECM
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Elegies for Piano
WORKS: Works
PERFORMER: Alexei Lubimov (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 461 812-2
The pieces on this CD range from CPE Bach (a madly adventurous not to say incoherent fantasy) to Valentin Silvestrov’s Der Bote (The Messenger). The theme is ‘Elegies for piano’, and the reverberant, distant recording gives Lubimov’s bell-like touch an intangible quality – ideal, I suppose, for Cage’s euphonious orientalism in In a Landscape which is all about resonance. The best-known item is Chopin’s C sharp minor Prelude, Op. 45 – very dreamily played – but the short pieces by Liszt, Glinka, Debussy and Bartók are real rarities. Debussy’s Élégie, written towards the end of his life, is particularly strange, even disturbing. The modern pieces – one called Nostalgia, by the Armenian Tigran Mansurian, more speculative than its title suggests; a post-Webern Elegie by Valentin Silvestrov; and the same composer’s spectral evocation of Mozart in Der Bote (he seems to have gone through similar stylistic changes to Schnittke) – all sound old hat (though Der Bote’ is only five years old) and the spirit of the whole disc is very hippy revival. I felt so spaced out after listening to it, I had no need for illegal substances. Adrian Jack

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