Levitzki: Complete Works for Solo Piano / Glebov

Release Date: 5/27/2016
Label: Toccata
Catalog Number: TOCC0334
Performer: Margarita Glebov
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

CD
In Stock
$18.99
Notes and Editorial Reviews
Of the three pianist-composers represented here as composers only Levitzki and Friedman have an extensive recorded legacy as executants. By comparison Gabrilowitsch, who also conducted the Detroit Symphony, seems to have been neglected when it came to the recording studio. Levitzki commanded his own series on Naxos (Volume 1 ~ Volume 2 ~ Volume 3) while the same label also celebrated Friedman with similar splendor (Volume 1 ~ Volume 2 ~ Volume 3 ~ Volume 4).

Trust Toccata Classics to approach these three names from one of the golden ages of pianism from an unaccustomed angle. All three wrote piano music under the nurturing that being a great world-touring pianist brings. Levitzki's haughty Valse de concert - one of many waltzes from his pen - has plenty of sentimental fancy in play. There's a touching Valse in A Major, a slow motion swirling Arabesque Valsante and a nice Valse Tzigane. The dance theme continues with a Meissen china Gavotte, a trilling and tear-unfocused Enchanted Nymph and a Dance of the Doll that bears the stamp of ragtime.

There's not a lot of Gabrilowitsch but it is classy. The Romance is touching and perfumed with a romance that sweeps along in Chopin-like grandeur. A deliberate pulse is often favored and this seems to imply cool calculation rather than anything impulsive. The Gavotte, rather like the one by Levitzki, has a predictably antique surface. The Feuillet is successful - a vehicle for the finer emotions; nothing cheap and nothing melodramatic.

I was less impressed with the Friedman arrangements. The four offered up seem prettified and of them only the Couperin, with its grace-note delights and ice-palace fantasy, holds the attention. The disc concludes with no fewer than eleven original works by Friedman. The four Preludes are impressive: No. 1: subtle with delicately chiming dissonances and a sleepy sign-off; No. 2: alive with swirling activity; No. 3: bell-tower Rachmaninov echoes but too short-breathed and No. 4: a quick pulsed and capricious brevity. The selection of Études include a trillingly liquid charmer (No.1 ), an exercise in rapid tremolo (No. 2), a luxuriously emotional essay presented in velvet (No. 4), a sentimental Allegro, con abandono (No. 9), a Godowsky-style study in decorative intricacy, a stormy tempest of the heart, very much in the Rachmaninovian manner (No. 11); likewise the final one (No. 16).

This very well-packed CD is further evidence that Toccata continues to enrich the classical listening experience with unexpected perspectives. Where Toccata lead others may follow. Not everything from these three contemporaries has striking musical substance but there is much to impress and where it does not impress it certainly delights.

– MusicWeb International (Rob Barnett)
Works on This Recording
1. Valse de concert for Piano, Op. 1 by Mischa Levitzki
Performer: Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
2. Waltz for Piano in A major, Op. 2 by Mischa Levitzki
Performer: Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Period: Romantic
3. Gavotte, Op. 3 by Mischa Levitzki
Performer: Margarita Glebov (Piano)
4. Arabesque valsante, Op. 6 by Mischa Levitzki
Performer: Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
5. Enchanted Nymph by Mischa Levitzki
Performer: Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Period: Romantic
6. Valse Tzigane, Op. 7 by Mischa Levitzki
Performer: Margarita Glebov (Piano)
7. Dance of the Doll, Op. 8 by Mischa Levitzki
Performer: Margarita Glebov (Piano)
8. Pieces (5) for Piano, Op. 1: No. 4, Romance by Ossip Gabrilowitsch
Performer: Margarita Glebov (Piano)
9. Pieces (3) for Piano, Op. 2 by Ossip Gabrilowitsch
Performer: Margarita Glebov (Piano)
10. Prelude, Fugue and Variation for Organ in B minor, Op. 18 by César Franck
Performer: Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1862 ; France
11. Adagio by Alessandro Grazioli
Performer: Margarita Glebov (Piano)
12. Symphony in G major "Mannheim no 1" by Johann Wenzel Stamitz
Performer: Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Period: Classical
13. La tendre fanchon by François Couperin
Performer: Margarita Glebov (Piano)
14. Preludes (4) for Piano, Op. 61 by Ignaz Friedman
Performer: Margarita Glebov (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1915 ;
15. Etudes, Op. 63: Excerpt(s) by Ignaz Friedman
Performer: Margarita Glebov (Piano)
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