Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
"Recorded August 2004 in the Stadttheater, Lindau (Bodensee), Germany, and engineered by John Barnes, Avie's Schubert-Liszt SACD offers some of the most natural piano sound you'll ever hear, larger than life—as are most SACD piano recordings—but with plenty of brilliance in the upper register, satisfying warmth with definition in the lower register. Roumanian-born Luiza Borac has won a number of prestigious competitions, and based on what is heard on this SACD, for good reason. Liszt's four-movement arrangement of Schubert's 1816 song, Der Wanderer, is a knuckle-buster easily tossed off by Borac, as are the varied Liszt pieces.
- Classical CD Review
Review from Fanfare Magazine
Romanian pianist Luiza Borac made a memorable impression two years back with fluent and resourceful readings of Enescu’s magnificent but rarely encountered Suites (27:3, 28:3). Here, she proves that she can hold her own on more familiar ground as well. Granted, her elastic Sonetto 123 nearly loses its grip; and to my ears, Borac doesn’t seem fully sympathetic to the darker currents in the Adagio of the Schubert, played coolly and without the lacerating pain that Richter gives it (23:1, 28:6). For the most part, though, these mercurial readings draw you into their orbit with their prismatic colors (Jeux d’eau is especially vivid), their deft rhythms (listen to the strut of the last movement of the Schubert), their quick reaction to the music’s changes in mood (the first movement of the Schubert is exceptional in this regard), and their sensitive touch.
Pride of place goes to Borac’s waspish performance of the Dante Sonata, less inward than Barenboim’s illuminating Teldec account , but, in its own darting way, nearly as successful in avoiding the bombast that so often weighs this piece down. Her reading of the usually strenuous Tarantella, though, is almost as ear-opening: while it lacks the ferocity of Paperno’s poisonous account, it compensates with a debonair effervescence that keeps the dance elements to the fore. And those who normally tire of the tremolos in Canzone may find that Borac’s nimble handling gives this music, too, a revitalizing lift. Indeed, even the Sonetto 123, whatever its limits, has a sensual caress that’s well worth experiencing. Avie’s sound is good, if not exceptional, in both two-channel and surround sound; the notes are informative, and include the texts of both the Petrarch sonnet and Schmidt’s poem “The Wanderer.” All in all, warmly welcomed.
Peter J. Rabinowitz, FANFARE
Works on This Recording
Venezia e Napoli, S 162 by Franz Liszt
Luiza Borac (Piano)
Written: 1859; Weimar, Germany
Featured Sound Samples
Venezia e Napoli, S 162 (Liszt): No 3: Tarantella
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