Notes and Editorial Reviews
Sonata in f#.
Sonata No. 32 in c.
Variations serieuses in d
Olga Paschenko (fp)
FUGA LIBERA 598 (77:05)
On this disc, which she entitles
, Olga Paschenko, who was born in 1986, plays works that she
opines stand ambiguously between classical and romantic styles. Presumably Dussek and Beethoven were looking forward to romanticism and Mendelssohn looking backwards to classicism. Of course, since classical style is stereotypically associated with formal constrictions, and romantic style with passion, few of us would listen to music that didn’t partake of both. Paschenko plays these pieces on two clear-toned, original Viennese fortepianos. The instruments give admirable clarity and precision to her stellar performances that are also in her hands sufficiently impassioned. Hers is the kind of playing I admire: individual without eccentricity, always seemingly aware of the larger shapes, rhythmically coherent and deeply engaged, I find these qualities in the Dussek, an interesting piece I have not heard before, and in the familiar Beethoven’s Sonata, op. 111. Even in the most turbulent passages of the latter, every note stands out clearly. Though I suppose the fortepiano has less dynamic range than a modern Steinway, that is not problematic here because of the subtlety with which Paschenko handles those dynamics. She can also be almost fierce in some of the variations in the Mendelssohn. Her technique is admirable. At times in the Mendelssohn in particular, she gets an almost eerie sound out of her instrument, as if it were not a percussion instrument: Then she plays at her most aggressive. The variety of touch and sound is remarkable. It’s easy to recommend this recording, with one rare piece, several widely recorded masterpieces, and all on fortepianos that give the music a unique timbre.
FANFARE: Michael Ullman
Works on This Recording
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