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Jill Crossland Plays Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Busoni

Beethoven / Crossland,Jill
Release Date: 11/19/2013 
Label:  Divine Art   Catalog #: 25111   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus MozartLudwig van BeethovenFerruccio Busoni
Performer:  Jill Crossland
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MOZART Fantasia in d, K 397. 12 Variations on Ah, vous dirais-je maman, K 265. BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 14, op. 27/2, “Moonlight.” 6 Bagatelles, op. 126. BACH-BUSONI Wachet auf, ruf uns die Stimme. Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland. Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ Jill Crossland Read more (pn) DIVINE ART 25111 (64:16)


The Yorkshire-born pianist Jill Crossland has well-received recordings of the complete Well-Tempered Clavier and Goldberg Variations , as well as a Rameau disc to her credit. Here, she offers a compilation of familiar, well-loved pieces. Never mind that most of the selections are warhorses; Crossland’s straightforward interpretations usually capture the essence of each piece, with textural clarity, careful rhythm, and sensitive melodic shaping.


She shows particular sympathy for Mozart. The vitality of the accompaniment figures and the energy in her playing of the Fantasia’s faster sections renewed my interest in the work, a standard student assignment. The Variations on Ah vous dirai-je maman ( Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star ) isn’t actually performed by students as often as one might think, due to the work’s technical demands. Crossland gives it a sparkling performance, with commendable left hand energy in the sixth variation and the Finale.


Her playing of the first movement of the “Moonlight” Sonata is less atmospheric and more Bachian than usual, with the melody’s triplet accompaniment taking on contrapuntal interest. The brief second movement that Liszt called a “flower between two abysses” sounds sprightly, lacking mystery, but Crossland comes into her own in the Finale, in a tempestuous, technically dazzling performance that ranks with the very best.


Beethoven’s op. 126 Bagatelles, a precursor of the spirit of Schumann’s sets of small pieces, receives a pleasingly unaffected reading, notable for Crossland’s careful inflection of melodic lines. Three Bach-Busoni chorale preludes conclude the program. Wachet auf sounds a little hasty once the chorale tune appears, with needless non-legato articulation. Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland builds to become a big emotional statement, and Ich ruf zu dir is suitably somber. Dinu Lipatti’s famous, quietly contemplative recordings of the latter two have finer differentiation of voices and more controlled legato playing.


I have two overall criticisms of this generally rewarding disc. The first—subjective, and not very important—is that the program seems arbitrarily assembled, and the order of the pieces doesn’t make a particularly inviting listening sequence. The second has to do with Divine Art’s sound. The piano has a pleasing, full sonority within a dry acoustic that suggests overly close miking. As a result, the volume at quieter moments in the music seems very close to that of louder sections. I noticed the lack of clear dynamic contrasts while listening to the Bagatelles, which need them. Otherwise, there’s much to enjoy in Crossland’s sincere interpretations and adept playing.


FANFARE: Paul Orgel
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Works on This Recording

1.
Fantasia for Piano in D minor, K 397 (385g) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Jill Crossland (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  St Paul's Church, Deptford 
Length: 5 Minutes 31 Secs. 
2.
Variations (12) for Piano in C major on "Ah vous dirai-je maman", K 265 (300e) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Jill Crossland (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  St Paul's Church, Deptford 
Length: 11 Minutes 46 Secs. 
3.
Sonata for Piano no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 no 2 "Moonlight" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Jill Crossland (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  St Paul's Church, Deptford 
Length: 14 Minutes 30 Secs. 
4.
Bagatelles (6) for Piano, Op. 126 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Jill Crossland (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1824; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  St Paul's Church, Deptford 
Length: 18 Minutes 16 Secs. 
5.
Chorale Preludes (10) for Piano after J. S. Bach: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645 by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Jill Crossland (Piano)
Venue:  St Paul's Church, Deptford 
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
6.
Chorale Preludes (10) for Piano after J. S. Bach: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659 by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Jill Crossland (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1898 
Venue:  St Paul's Church, Deptford 
Length: 4 Minutes 58 Secs. 
7.
Chorale Preludes (10) for Piano after J. S. Bach: Ich ruf'zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639 by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Jill Crossland (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1898 
Venue:  St Paul's Church, Deptford 
Length: 3 Minutes 45 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Fantasia in D Minor, K. 397
12 Variations in C Major on Ah vous dirai-je, maman, K. 265
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2, "Moonlight": I. Adagio sostenuto
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2, "Moonlight": II. Allegretto
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2, "Moonlight": III. Presto agitato
6 Bagatelles, Op. 126: No. 1 in G Major
6 Bagatelles, Op. 126: No. 2 in G Minor
6 Bagatelles, Op. 126: No. 3 in E-Flat Major
6 Bagatelles, Op. 126: No. 4 in B Minor
6 Bagatelles, Op. 126: No. 5 in G Major
6 Bagatelles, Op. 126: No. 6 in E-Flat Major
Bach - 10 Chorale Preludes: No. 2. Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645
Bach - 10 Chorale Preludes: No. 3. Nun komm' der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659
Bach - 10 Chorale Preludes: No. 5. Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr, BWV 639

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