Another “C” Composer
This week has been focused on revising the paper I gave at IRCAM in December on Carter’s late concerti and reviewing a Carter centennial volume (as well as a bunch of other stuff) for Signal to Noise. But occasionally, one has to take a break from all-interval tetrachords and metric modulations. Chopin has been just the ticket, and Bridge Records has recently released two enjoyable Chopin recordings: one historic and one contemporary.
A 4-disc set (Bridge 9276 A/D) by Nadia Reisenberg (1904-1983) presents Chopin recordings from the 1940s and 50s, originally released on Westminster. It includes all of the Nocturnes, 56 Mazurkas, the Allegro de Concert, and the late Berceuse and Barcarolle. The pianist’s sense of line, particularly in the Nocturnes, is limpidly impeccable. Reisenberg’s recording of the Third Sonata, taken from a 1947 concert at Carnegie Hall, presents a different portrait of the artist; passionate, even tempestuous.
Hot Ticket tomorrow – Vassily Primakov
Russian pianist Vassily Primakov (b. 1979) brings brilliant technique and a similarly inspiring fire to his recording of Chopin’s Piano Concertos 1 &2 (Bridge 9278). He’s particularly impressive in the vivace movements of both works, in which runs are cleanly executed with a con brio fervor that that renews my interests in the concerti, of which I’ve heard some lukewarm performances in recent years. His rendition of the Romanze in the E-minor Concerto is quite touching as well.
Tomorrow at 2 PM, Primakov plays a recital at Weill Hall; a program consisting of Tchaikovsky – From “The Seasons” (op. 37b) and Grand Sonata (op. 37), Brahms Intermezzi (Op. 117), and Schumann’s Carnival. If his Chopin is any indication, this should be a memorable show!