Notes and Editorial Reviews
Nicholas Roth (pn)
BLUE GRIFFIN 321 (74:58)
This CD combines Roth’s 2001 recording of the
originally issued as a stand-alone work on Blue Griffin 101 in 2005, with a 2009 performance of the
Susan Kagan initially reviewed the
29:2, comparing it to the equally fine performance of Kotaro Fukuma on Naxos. Her description of Roth’s playing in this work, capturing “Schumann’s romantic style fully with rapturous, soaring phrases, a subtly expressive reaction to key changes, and the tasteful, unexaggerated use of rubato,” mirrors my own reaction to this disc as an entirety. I was, however, less enchanted with the recorded sound, covered and dull in the upper range, which almost makes it sound like an older recording on which noise reduction was applied to reduce hiss and crackle. This was, in fact, the second Blue Griffin CD I reviewed that day, the other being the Trifecta Trio, and both suffer from the same malady. I wonder, then, if it is really the fault of the original recording engineer or the disc producer and engineer, Sergei Kvitko. Perhaps this is the kind of sound that Blue Griffin thinks its listeners want to hear. It certainly isn’t the kind of sound
want to hear at all. After the first three selections, I turned up the treble control on my amplifier about 3/4 of the way up, which helped produce a brighter, more realistic piano tone. I strongly recommend that you do the same when playing it.
Now that Roth has added the
pieces (seven of them), which form Schumann’s op. 20, they make a good counterpart to the op. 21
In truth, neither suite is among Schumann’s best work, but since he was nearly always an interesting and unpredictable composer, this disc is worth getting for Roth’s well thought out and beautifully executed interpretations.
FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
Works on This Recording
Novelletten (8) for Piano, Op. 21 by Robert Schumann
Nicholas Roth (Piano)
Written: 1838; Germany
Date of Recording: 08/11/2009
Length: 46 Minutes 35 Secs.
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