This excellently engineered recital showcases an immensely talented pianist with something to say, and I look forward to hearing more.
The title, the photos, and the booklet notes aim to position 34-year-old James Rhodes as classical music's answer to Sid Vicious or Iggy Pop, an impression fueled by this pianist's past struggles with drug abuse and self-mutilation, together with his determinedly "unclassical" platform manner. But listen without looking and you'll discover a sensitive and imaginative artist with a lyrical gift and a bell-like keyboard touch. The Bach G major French Suite's quicker movements evoke a fuller-bodied manifestation of Glenn Gould's hair-trigger articulation, while the openingRead more Allemande boasts inventive ornamentation in the repeats, and the slow-moving Sarabande oozes concentration and sustaining power. The Bach/Busoni Chaconne stands out for Rhodes' steady deliberation and an insidious cumulative arc.
Conversely Rhodes' flexible pulse throughout the Beethoven E minor sonata underscores the first movement's points of tension and the second movement's almost Schubertian melodic trajectory. Also note Rhodes' uncommonly clear articulation of the first movement's difficult, rapid rotary figurations.
The Moszkowski and Bach/Siloti encores exude old-school charm and mastery. My only quibble concerns Chopin's Fourth Ballade, where Rhodes' broad tempos and slightly discursive rubatos cause the music to ramble, in contrast to similarly subjective yet more cogently structured interpretations by Ivan Moravec and Claudio Arrau. All in all, this excellently engineered recital showcases an immensely talented pianist with something to say, and I look forward to hearing more.
Prelude in B minorby Johann Sebastian Bach Performer:
James Rhodes (Piano)
Period: Baroque Written: Germany Notes: Arranger: Alexander Siloti. This is a free arrangement of the Prelude in E minor, BWV 855a, from Book I of the Well-Tempered Clavier.
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Worst performance of Chopin Ballade #4 I've heardFebruary 17, 2012By Robert J. (Seattle, WA)See All My Reviews"The performance of Chopin's Ballade #4 on this disc is the most pathetic attempt at performing this masterwork I've ever heard committed to recording. The pianist's technique was abysmal in ever aspect - clumsy, wrong notes, dreadful trills - you name it: it was awful. I wouldn't own this CD on a bet."Report Abuse