Notes and Editorial Reviews
Cembal d’Amour delves deeper into the archives of Mindru Katz performances with this extensive tribute derived from undisclosed locations. It’s devoted to Chopin, whom Katz plays with especial grandeur and nobility, and it reinforces the fact that his early death represented a great loss to the musical world.
The Sonata receives a reading of great purposeful clarity. Katz is alert as to the detail as much as the sweep of the narrative. So the opening is taken at a good tempo, whilst the scherzo, if slightly under characterized when set against some other august players is nevertheless zestfully done. The slow movement is however imbued with a spirit of noble restraint and elevated
authority – no outsize gestures deflect from the sense of concentration imparted.
The rest of the programme amplifies these approaches. The E major Etude is extremely slow in Katz’s hands but he has his reasons and manages to ensure a sustained melodic line throughout; note also the finely articulated and dancing B section, the strongly projected writing and the tightly argued contrary motion octave passage. The C sharp minor by contrast is animated - and splendidly successful. The E flat minor Etude Op.10 No.6 carries with it a certain tristesse in this reading whilst the C minor is a passionate and stormy petrel.
The Fourth Ballade is measured in tempo but warmly textured and bass orientated in sound colour. The companion A flat major Ballade [No.3] again eschews motoric barnstorming in favour of more clement and lateral pleasures.
Track eleven is devoted to Katz talking – about his dreams, about Chopin and other topics. What a fascinating talker he is, his voice rather patrician. He talks of the sub-conscious solving technical problems and more besides. He talks of touch and the Funeral March sonata. It offers a warm insight into the man and to the mixture of intellect and controlled eloquence that ran through his playing.
So further recommendation is rather superfluous. If you know Katz as a proponent of the flashier repertoire do not on any account neglect to investigate this - and other – examples of his penetrating musicianship.
-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
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