One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
52,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free


we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


TROUBADISC

with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation


absolutely thrilling


immediacy and spontaneity


Schumann Lieder


24 Preludes
one of the finest piano discs


‘Box of Delights.’


J S Bach A New Angle
Organ fans form an orderly queue


GERNSHEIM Quartets
a most welcome issue


I enjoyed it tremendously


the finest traditions of the house


music for theorbo
old and new

John Luther Adams
Become Desert
concealing a terrifying message


ground-breaking, winning release


Charpentier
screams quality


Surprise of the month


English Coronation, 1902-1953
magnificent achievement

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Sonata No. 8 in A Minor K310 (300d) (1778) [19:08]
Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Piano Sonata in B minor S178 (1853) [24:20]
Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) 
Piano Sonata in E minor, Op.7 (1865 rev 1887) [17:16]
MANA-ZUCCA (1885-1981)
Burleske, Op.261 [3:41]
Paul PABST (1854-1897)
Concert Paraphrase on Themes from Eugene Onegin by P.I. Tchaikovsky, Op.81 [11:43]
Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915)
Three Pieces: Etude in C sharp minor, Op.2 No.1 (1887) [3:18]
Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971)
Russian Dance from Petrushka (1921) [2:53]
Shura Cherkassky (piano)
rec. 2 June 1971, unknown location
FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR19 [82:19]

In his fine booklet notes Jonathan Summers tries to pin down the location of this June 1971 Cherkassky recital but without success. At the moment then it remains - rather like those Second World War radio broadcasts – ‘recorded somewhere in England’ (probably). It doesn’t really matter. Each of Cherkassky’s concerts was an occasion, and this one is no different.

He’s not known for his Mozart which is fair as he didn’t play much. He did occasionally perform a few of the sonatas but this is apparently the only – thus far – extant recording of K310. It’s warmly, lyrically and expressively done, with its opening Allegro mestoso sounding unusually pliant in his hands, all sense of combat elided. Rich colouration imbues the slow movement, songfully spun, whilst there’s quite enough brio to send the finale happily on its way. Some may well find this kind of interpretation majoring on the easy-going, but there is undoubtedly unashamed warmth to the reading. Grieg’s Sonata has never really been co-opted to the living current of the repertoire but Cherkassky takes it by the scruff of its neck here. Glenn Gould’s iconoclasm led him to record the work but his reading is rhythmically more conventional, if predictably slower, than Cherkassky’s volcanic view of the first movement. In his hands its tempestuous virtuosity and myriad voices will come as a shock, not least to those diligent scholars who espouse this at Grade 8. Cherkassy prefers to see it as a Nordic votive drama and this is a master-class in instability and tempo-fluctuation. Don’t overlook his sheer refined elegance in the slow movement, however. The major sonata is the Liszt and, as with the Grieg, this is a sizzler. It’s exceptionally fast but such is Cherkassky’s control of nuance, narrative, and rubato, one doesn’t necessarily notice. What one can’t help but notice is the coruscating virtuosity, the personalisation, the variety of dynamic ranges, the risk-taking bravura and control of pedaling. One senses his quivering, almost animal responses to the tensions and freedoms offered by a concert such as this – and he responds as a great artist can, with playing of inimitable excitement. It’s certainly more vivid than any other of his surviving Liszt sonata performances.

After such sonata bounty it seems invidious to wrap up the remainder of the programme in a few sentences, but the other pieces reflect in the main his taste for the raunchy and florid. Mana-Zucca’s Burleske is manna from reportorial heaven – she was an American ex-child prodigy who wrote music as others eat breakfast (over 1,000 compositions) and was a friend of Cherkassky – and it allows free rein to his puckish virtuosity. Pabst’s Eugene Onegin paraphrase is balanced here between exuberance and refined colour, where Cherkassy’s palette embraces music-box delicacy, refined tracery, and stentorian basso profundo. Scriabin’s Etude – there’s an obvious typo in the track listing as it should be Op.2 not Op.1- is taken slower and more pliantly than Horowitz. A bracing Stravinsky envoi sends us on our way.

This well-filled 82-minute disc exists at all because it was retained by the pianist and formed part of a legacy that he gifted to the British Library. All I can say is if there’s any more like this, I want to hear it.

Jonathan Woolf

 

 



We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger