Three recitals


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Something’s gone awry with Warner’s scheduling when they issue three violin-piano recitals at the same time (except one of them’s actually on cello). Something’s also skewed with the repertoire selection.

Vilde Frang, the Norwegian violinist, returns after a hiatus with an album of Paganini and Schubert. Nobody should play Paganini’s opera transcriptions unless they can deliver shock and awe virtuosity. Frang is not that kind of artist. She chose wrong.

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Moving on, we try the Franck sonata, which was written for violin and piano, played by the cellist Gautier Capucon. The pianist is the irrepressible Yuja Wang, who’s good to sell a few copies, but the sonata which ought to ache away at dark emotions, is lulled by the gentle cello and Yuja burbles away as second fiddle (as it were) hanging slightly behind Gautier at times. The second half of this live concert consists of a couple of Chopin pieces and a Piazzolla finale, all cobbled together like a Black Friday marketing opportunity rather than a coherent album.

The third release is played by Diana Tishchenko and Zoltan Fejervari, neither of whom has crossed my deck before. It has a gimmicky title – Strangers in PARadISe, geddit? – and conjoins works by Ravel, Enescu, Ysaye and Prokofiev from their Paris years. Tishchkenko, I read in the small print, is a Ukrainian who won the Long-Thibaud-Crespin Competition and, boy, can she play. The blues middle section of the Ravel 2nd sonata, is a wizard pizzicato stunner whose wispy melodic line could break the heart of a label mogul who doesn’t know his classical from his colon.

It just gets better. The 3rd sonatas by Enescu and Ysaye require titanic technique and the Prokofiev 2nd sonata is no bowl of cherries. They make sweet kitsch out of them. Tishchenko is clearly one to watch. Her pianist Fejervari is no mean artist. This is what a recital disc should sound like.

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This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


About Author

Norman Lebrecht is a prolific writer on music and cultural affairs. His blog, Slipped Disc, is one of the most popular sites for cultural news. He presents The Lebrecht Interview on BBC Radio 3 and is a contributor to several publications, including the Wall Street Journal and The Standpoint. Visit every Friday for his weekly CD review // Norman Lebrecht est un rédacteur prolifique couvrant les événements musicaux et Slipped Disc, est un des plus populaires sites de nouvelles culturelles. Il anime The Lebrecht Interview sur la BBC Radio 3 et collabore à plusieurs publications, dont The Wall Street Journal et The Standpoint. Vous pouvez lire ses critiques de disques chaque vendredi.

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