Tuesday 27 November 2012

December's IRR reviews

December’s International Record Review is out now and again features reviews I’ve written. Here’s what I was sent this month:

American Serenade - Rachel Kolly d’Alba
Gershwin/Bernstein/Waxman (Warner Classics 2564 65765-7)

“If the career to date of Swiss violinist Rachel Kolly d’Alba proves anything, it’s that it is possible (thankfully) to enter the field playing something other than standard rep and warhorse concerti. American Serenade is her third album for Warner Classics... [It] explores the cross-contamination of “high” and “low” art inherent in American culture.”

Russian String Quartets – Leipziger Streichquartett
Afanasiev/Borodin/Rachmaninov/Rimsky-Korsakov (MDG307 1758-2)

“The familiar nestles among the obscure in the Leipziger Strechquartett’s album of Russian quartets. Borodin’s evergreen example is mirrored at the programme’s start by a work from a man (Afanasiev) geographically far removed from the heart of Russia’s nineteenth century musical renaissance, providing a glimpse of the artistic inspirations of the time.”

Wolfgang Rihm – Complete works for violin and piano
Tianwa Yang & Nicholas Rimmer (Naxos 8.572730)

Yang and Rimmer prove to be outstanding guides to Rihm’s fiercely focused music. They are alert to every tiny change in dynamic and texture, to every finely weighed gesture that Rihm sets out. Their strengths are immediately apparent in Phantom und Eskapade, a piece completed in 1994 for Anne-Sophie Mutter and bearing one of Rihm’s typically opaque titles. Rimmer’s wonderfully precise touch illuminates the questioning opening and continues to alternate delicacy with barbed urgency throughout this enigmatic piece.”  

No comments: