Ravel: Le tombeau de Couperin; Valses nobles et sentimentales; Sonatine,

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2.0 out of 5 star rating 2.0

LABELS: Channel
WORKS: Le tombeau de Couperin; Valses nobles et sentimentales; Sonatine,
PERFORMER: Dejan Lazic (piano)
This is the most eccentric new CD I have heard for a long time. Dejan Lazic was born in Zagreb in 1977 and made his first recording when he was 13 with the Solisti di Zagreb both as pianist in Mozart’s E flat Piano Concerto, K449, and clarinettist in the Clarinet Concerto. He’s also a composer. He has already made a Mozart and a Chopin disc for Channel, and there’s no question of his talent. His musical judgement, however, is distorted by a quest for excitement and novelty which seems artificial and applied. Never, in Ravel’s Menuet sur le nom d’Haydn, has anyone gushed and swooned so shamelessly. Then, in the Pavane pour une infante défunte, Lazic minces, tip-toe, fracturing all sense of continuity. In the first two movements of the Sonatine rhythm fluctuates so much that a sense of pulse is lost. The third movement is wild. Extreme tempi and wayward rhythms obliterate the Baroque references in Le tombeau de Couperin, and the fluttering, nervy Toccata suggests a cross between Olli Mustonen and Horowitz. Valses nobles et sentimentales, as Lazic plays them, cease to be dances and leap out of Ravel’s Impressionist world into a future that could be Cubist or Surrealist, but either way has little connection with the composer. Adrian Jack