Notes and Editorial Reviews
Etude: Homage to Chopin.
Variations on a Theme of Chopin
Rorianne Schrade (pn)
IMPROMPTU 80601 (65:33)
In this disc, Rorianne Schrade gives an uneasy reading of the Chopin Preludes. She seems to be working hard from the very First prelude, where she pushes the admittedly churning opening phrases in an unsettling manner. It strikes me that
the best performances suggest a kind of peace, even restfulness, underneath all the excitement. Though the notes are all there, and the performance packs a visceral charge, Schrade’s performance does not, all in all, suggest the technical mastery of the recent recording by Pollini, for instance. Of course, her tempos are faster than those of Rubinstein, but he stresses the melodic line in a way I find more satisfying.
Schrade pounds out the initial statement of the melody of Rachmaninoff’s
, and then submits it to a series of diminuendos. The actual variations are clever, virtuosic, varied: I like this Rachmaninoff better than his perfervid concertos. I also know only one other recording, a dashing one by Laura Mikkola. (Is it true that Rachmaninoff never recorded it himself?) So there is little competition for this piece. There is none for the Flagello
, a piece that is all flash and fire, that starts fast and loud and (often) gets louder if not faster. Schrade plays the piece grandly, with a steely sound that might just be the result of the engineering of the recording.
All in all, I am in the peculiar position primarily of recommending a disc dominated by Chopin for a short work by Nicolas Flagello, and as a second reading of the tribute by Rachmaninoff.
FANFARE: Michael Ullman
Works on This Recording
Be the first to review this title