Notes and Editorial Reviews
Concert for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet.
Jerrold Rubenstein (vn);
Daniel Rubenstein (va);
Alexander Dmitriev (vc);
Dalia Ouziel (pn);
TALENT 06 (151:18)
Chausson is less interpreted by these forces than pressure cooked. Having opted for a heavy, caressing, sensual approach and steamy emotional temperature—hot tap full on—what at first was arresting soon comes to feel literal, labored, then interminable, unrelieved by subtlety or nuance. Or, say that so much deliberatively paced vehemence is wearing. The Concert has not lacked for superb performances going back to the classic 1931 Thibaud/Cortot account, and taking in the Oliveira/Koenig/Vista Nuova Ensemble go at it—“superbly paced, every bar, every line, every phrase rife with color and nuance, yet arching and coiling with narrative sureness”—(Artek 0013,
26:5) and a string orchestra arrangement featuring the richly inflected artistry of Augustin Dumay and Jean-Philippe Collard at white heat (Cascavelle 3082,
30:2). For a superlative go at his Piano Quartet one can hardly do better than an incandescent live performance from the March 1999 Tucson Chamber Music Festival by Benny Kim, Paul Neubauer, Peter Rejto, and Anne-Marie McDermott (Arizona Friends of Chamber Music 1999,
25:2). And for the String Quartet’s melancholia melting into urbane gaiety—presaging a turning point in Chausson’s
cut short by his death—turn to the Ludwig Quartet’s tilt (Naxos 8.553645,
22: 1). The emphatic mien of the present performances is heightened by breathily close strings—especially Jerrold Rubenstein’s violin in the Concert—covering the piano in tuttis, while quieter passages reveal the cavernous ambience of the recording venue, lending the piano a nimbus.
FANFARE: Adrian Corleonis
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