Kod‡ly, ?iurlionis, Liszt & Rachmaninov

COMPOSERS: ?iurlionis,Kodaly,Liszt & Rachmaninov
LABELS: Landor
ALBUM TITLE: Moments Musicaux
WORKS: Piano works by Kodály, ?iurlionis, Liszt & Rachmaninov
PERFORMER: Evelina Puzaite (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: LAN 281
Winner of the 2006 piano competition partly promoted by this recording label, the 25-year old Lithuanian puts her best foot forward in the weightier part of her debut recital. First there are some relative rarities: Kodály’s Dances of Marosszek, more familiar in their orchestrated guise, and a wistful group of miniatures from Puzaite’s best-known musical compatriot, Mikalojus Konstantinas ?iurlionis. The spacious, resonant bass melody at the start of the Kodály isn’t quite matched by what needs to be a brighter, more incisive treble in shepherd’s pipings, nor by a slightly restrained approach to the more exuberant dance sequences. But the introspection, modestly sounded in the ?iurlionis Preludes, holds good for the grander ambitions of Liszt’s Trois Études de Concert. Here Puzaitis maintains the serious argument of ‘Il Lamento’ through unaffected flurries of notes in ‘La Leggierezza’. She knows, too, exactly how to pace the last and most familiar of the pieces, ‘Un Sospiro’, through to an impressive climax.

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That careful marshalling of Romantic scope serves her well in Rachmaninov’s Moments musicaux. Only the chordal brooding of the Andante cantabile needs more intensity behind it; but when the textures are elaborate, Puzaite keeps her poise. David Nice