This is a monumental account of Mussorgsky's Pictures.
This is a monumental account of Mussorgsky's Pictures. Still under 30, the Moscow-born Zilberstein is now under contract to DG, with several recordings in the catalogue and others in the pipeline, including Rachmaninov's Second and Third Concertos with Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic. From the initial ''Promenade'' in Mussorgsky's work, it is clear that she doesn't intend to stroll around this exhibition and react only to the pictures, but instead to stalk about magisterially (at least sometimes): not quite my taste. She is best where all the expressive stops are pulled out; intimacy is less in her line, so that ''The old castle'' is just one piece whereRead more something is lacking, hard to define but covered by the word subtlety. There is little playfulness about the children in ''Tuileries'', no humour from the market women of ''Limoges'', the Polish driver in ''Bydlo'' handles his ox-wagon like a tank, and Schmuyle fails to plead: in sum, something of humanity is absent. A close and fiercely lit recording emphasizes this aspect of the playing. Yet it is formidably assured and certainly demands to be heard.
I like this pianist rather better in the less well known music that follows, though here, too, she resorts too readily to a forceful arm touch. Given its title, the Taneyev work is surprisingly un-baroque, its mysterious Prelude being followed by a whirling, gigue-like Fugue. The Medtner Melodies sound rather like latish Rachmaninov and are played with considerable aplomb.
-- Christopher Headington, Gramophone [8/1994] Read less