Mendelssohn: Lieder ohne Worte (selection)

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COMPOSERS: Mendelssohn
LABELS: Opus 111
WORKS: Lieder ohne Worte (selection)
PERFORMER: Olga Tverskaya (fortepiano)
Selectively representative Mendelssohn for those who don’t need the complete works. Tverskaya, playing a luminously-toned reproduction of an 1823 Viennese Brodmann Hammerklavier, confines herself to the intimacy of the Songs without Words (1829-45). Budiardjo, endorsing a clinically anonymous Kawai, adds the larger-scale F sharp minor Fantasy and Op 14 Rondo Capriccioso, favourite display-pieces of the Golden Age Romantics. Tverskaya is the more style-conscious of the two, the more temperamentally poetic. She knows how to dream, how to touch “feelings which cannot be expressed in words.” Contrastingly, Budiardjo – despite a promising Fantasy – seems more geared to go through the school-room motions of fast mechanics efficiently learnt rather than musically applied (F major Study from Op 104). You’re glad to have Tverskaya’s Trauermarsch, her Gondola images – intensifying performances, each note emotively invested. You can only despair at Budiardjo’s Spring Song – a charmless caricature craving the indulgence of period perfume. Tverskaya values grace and discipline. Budiardjo has yet to. Show her anything con fuoco or mildly black on the page and she’s off, straining at the leash. Clean recording from PPR; less naturally judged reverberation from Opus 111. Ates Orga