Notes and Editorial Reviews
C. P. E. BACH
Piano Sonata in d,
Fantasia in D,
Piano Sonata in E?,
Dejan Lazi? (pn)
CHANNEL 28511 (69:02)
Dejan Lazi's decision to pair C. P. E. Bach and Britten on the same CD may be seen as either a bold venture or a combination of two composers too different for comfortable pairing. Either way, this CD’s content will challenge the listener.
There is no getting around it, Lazi??s performances of the Bach pieces are large in conception and thoroughly modern in style. He uses a modern piano and is not ashamed to give the music all the color, dynamic contrasts, and power that a modern piano can bring to them. This conception is very different from, say, the performance of Bach keyboard sonatas by François Chaplin on Naxos, who trims down his modern piano so that it sounds a bit more like a fortepiano. If you enjoy this kind of performance, however, you will like Lazi??s playing. I personally find it to be a bit too much, of making C. P. E. Bach sound like late-period Beethoven, which he certainly was not.
Oddly enough, and you may not believe this until you’ve heard it, the very early waltzes of Britten are not terribly distant in style or feeling from C. P. E. Bach. Britten himself described these pieces, which seem to combine the charm of Chopin with the more insistent rhythms of Mozart, as “pretty juvenile (here was no Mozart, I fear). But perhaps they may be useful for the young or inexperienced to practice.” True, they are not works of genius, but they are, as he put it, charming and useful as a gateway to other, better music, including his own.
piece here titled
flies like a whirlwind, indicating Lazi??s superb technique and, more importantly, his wonderful sense of “binding” phrases even at such a hectic pace. Britten’s
is from his early period, but not juvenilia, being written in 1934. The music has that wonderful freshness one hears in so much early Britten, its four pieces being titled “Early Morning Bathe,” “Sailing,” “Fun-Fair,” and “Night.” Similar contrasts are heard between Bach’s Sonata in E? and Britten’s quirky but charming late piece (1963), the
I found this to be a most enjoyable CD, even though I played it on a day when my domestic situation was rather tense, which is a high compliment to Lazi??s powers of persuasion. Whether or not it is a composer combination that intrigues you, I suggest that you give it a listen.
FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley