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

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

WYASTONE releases



The Birth of Rhapsody in Blue
A superlative recreation


such a success


An outstanding performance


make acquaintance without delay


Violin Concerto
This is an impressive disc


Strong advocacy
for a British composer


Piano Music - Martin Jones
agreeably crafted


Piano Music 5CDs


Consistently fine


Rare and interesting repertoire


An excellent introduction


A Celebration on Record


An issue of importance


Richard RIJNVOS
A splendid disc


both enlightening and rewarding
additional review

 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971)
Trois Mouvements de ‘Petrouchka’ [16:38]
L’Oiseau De Feu (arr. Guido Agosti) [11:38]
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Dix Morceaux Extraits De ‘Roméo et Juliette’ Op. 75 [30:48]
David Jalbert (piano)
rec. 2016, Salle Raoul-Jobin, Quebec
ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD22684 [55.04]

In this recording, Canadian pianist, David Jalbert focuses on transcriptions of Russian ballet scores written in the first half of the 20th Century. Jalbert is no stranger to Russian 20th Century repertoire having recorded Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues.

He opened his recital with Stravinsky’s own transcription of ‘Three movements from Petrushka’. The composer wrote this work for Rubinstein to encourage the great Polish pianist to play more of his music. It is notorious for its extreme technical demands with the composer writing over four staves and demanding that the pianist negotiate wide leaps, complex polyrhythms tremolos and rapid-fire glissandi. Jalbert injected enormous rhythmic energy into the opening ‘Russian Dance’ and for the most part he kept the dense textures neat and tidy. Occasionally, I would have liked a little more percussive attack and for Jalbert to have given us more marked contrasts. I really liked the playful characterisation in the opening section of ‘Petrushka’s House’ and the depiction of the jerky movements of the puppet. The final section needed a little more dramatic punch. In the ‘Shrovetide Fair’, Jalbert inserted his own arrangement of the ‘Bear Dance’ which Stravinsky omitted from the transcription. I am not opposed to performers adding material to transcriptions and in some instances they work well, however, in this case I think it would have been better for Jalbert to have stuck to Stravinsky’s own tightly constructed score as the music lost momentum with the inclusion of the Bear Dance. Jalbert gave a reasonably convincing performance of this movement and dealt well with the multiple rhythmic changes but the playing was occasionally a little safe and the music did not quite have the crackling brilliance that it needs. Jalbert’s performance was not in the same league as Pollini, Kissin or Wang who all give more technically polished and dramatically convincing performances.

Guido Agosti’s transcription of three of the final dances from ‘The Firebird’ was written in 1834 some decades after the original. As with the transcription of Petrushka, these are highly virtuosic works requiring tremendous agility and stamina. Jalbert conjured a wide range of colouristic effects for his performance of ‘Katschei’s Infernal Dance’ but it lacked the incendiary quality that this piece needs. Compare his performance with that of Francesco Pietmontesi who really sets the keyboard alight. I preferred Jalbert’s performance of the Berceuse and Finale where he produced a range of rich orchestral sonorities.

Jalbert’s approach to the Stravinsky transcriptions was something of a mixed bag but he seemed to be much more in his element with Prokofiev. Each of the dances from Romeo and Juliet were characterised beautifully. The opening Folk Dance was light and whimsical and Jalbert allowed the piece to blossom in an enchanting way. The neo-Classical elegance of the Menuet had charm and grace while the dance of the Montagues and Capulets had a sombre doom-laden feel. The portrait of Juliet was particularly fine with Jalbert doing a magnificent job depicting the giddy exhilaration and dreaminess of the dance. Mercutio was impulsive and headstrong while the final piece captured wonderfully the balmy blossoming of love and rapture of the two lovers.

Overall, the performance of the Prokofiev is highly recommended but I was less convinced by the Stravinsky.

Robert Beattie

Previous review: Dan Morgan (Recording of the Month)

 



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


a vibrant slice of life


BRITISH CELLO WORKS
stylistically assured


About Every Hill and Valley
Swedish Songs


Hallberg and Dente
interesting and most welcome


An inspired partnership
additional review


TOSCA
A valuable document



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