Notes and Editorial Reviews
Concerto in C for Violin, Cello, and Piano,
JoAnn Falletta, cond; Michael Ludwig (vn); László Feny? (vc); M?za Rubackyt? (pn); Lithuanian Natl SO; Kaunas St Ch
DORON 3032 (53:49) Live: Vilnius 11/7/2009
This disc preserves the opening concert of something called the Vilnius Piano Festival in 2009—whether a one-off event or regular occurrence we’re not told, but Lithuanian pianist M?za Rubackyt? was
obviously the central attraction on this occasion.
In the Triple Concerto, the trio is notable for the quality of its teamwork, which is not to say that its playing lacks anything in individual character. Far from it: Rubackyt??s light touch, sparing pedal, and keen rhythmic articulation are ideally complemented by Ludwig’s attractively silvery violin and Fenyö’s earthy, compact cello. The orchestra is obviously not world-class, but Falletta’s expert direction has real brio on an idiomatically classical scale. The first movement is a little brisker than usual at 16:53 and all the better for it, sweeping onward with irresistibly powerful momentum. The Largo (a close cousin to its counterpart in the “Waldstein” Sonata, in its status as an extended introduction to the finale rather than an autonomous slow movement) is conversely a little more spaciously paced than most (5:14). Here the solo strings play with finely focused tone at very quiet dynamics, creating a rapt atmosphere of inward lyrical communing. The trio holds real soloistic panache in reserve for a wonderfully characterful account of the concluding Rondo alla Polacca (hear, for instance, the exuberant swing they inject into the central A-Minor episode). The recording vividly conveys the concert atmosphere, with more audience noise than is typical for live recordings today (not that this is bothersome), and (surprisingly reserved) applause at the end. Altogether this Triple Concerto can more than hold its own with other recent live accounts. If it doesn’t emulate the high-powered virtuoso treatment of Argerich/Capuçon/Maisky (Rabinowitsch/Lugano Festival, EMI), it’s more stylish and exciting than the rather sober Vogt/Nikolitch/Hugh (Haitink/LSO Live).
Rubackyt? plays the Choral Fantasy to the manner born, with improvisatory freedom, mercurial fantasy, and real panache, along with a few (insignificant) minor inaccuracies that do not detract from the performance in the slightest (in fact, for me they only enhance the sense of involvement in a live occasion). If orchestral insecurity is sometimes more noticeable here than in the concerto, the chorus is quite superb, with fresh, incisive pointing of the text in impressively idiomatic German.
Altogether an unexpected keeper, and enthusiastically recommended. I’ll now be keeping my eyes and ears open for more from Rubackyt?.
FANFARE: Boyd Pomeroy
Works on This Recording
Fantasia in C minor, Op. 80 "Choral Fantasy" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Műza Rubackyté (Piano)
Written: 1808; Vienna, Austria
Date of Recording: 11/07/2009
Venue: Lithuanian National Philharmonic Hall, V
Length: 7 Minutes 29 Secs.
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