ALBUM TITLE: Liszt , ProkofievShostakovich
WORKS: Piano Concerto No. 1
PERFORMER: Lise de la Salle (piano); Gulbenkian Foundation Orchestra/Lawrence Foster
CATALOGUE NO: Na•ve V 5053
Here are three concertos which belie their brevity in their surprising emotional range. One can’t expect Lise de la Salle to be all things to all men. Neither she nor Lisbon’s Gulbenkian make a big or bright enough sound to capture the full bravura of the Liszt; time and again Liszt’s flamboyant injunctions – strepitoso, con impeto, grandioso– are sold a little short. Nor is she quite rude enough for the music-hall turns of Shostakovich’s outer movements (try Oleg Marshev on Danacord for rollicking humour). But she does show a thoughtfulness well beyond her 18 years in all three slow movements – and conductor Lawrence Foster sets a slower, more studied tempo than usual for both Prokofiev’s Andante assai and Shostakovich’s Lento, no longer sounding like a slow waltz but very beautiful on its own terms with some very soulful phrasing from muted Gulbenkian violins and a smoky trumpet solo from Gabor Boldocki. Once past the spoof pomposity of its opening, the Prokofiev Concerto works best. De la Salle may lack the last degree of scintillating wit but she treads lightly and again finds more seriousness between the lines than this playful-melancholy young man’s music usually admits.