Magazine article Gramophone

Chopin: Complete Etudes

Magazine article Gramophone

Chopin: Complete Etudes

Article excerpt


Complete Etudes

Alessandro Deljavan pf

Brilliant (B) 95207 (70'* DDD)

It may be that the Italian pianist Alessandro Deljavan is destined for a controversial career. He is a highly demonstrative player whose incessant movements and exaggerated, protean facial expressions make Lang Lang seem a model of restrained immobility. Moreover, Deljavan adamantly maintains that curbing his extramusical mannerisms would impede his response to the music.

Fortunately he has already made a number of recordings that allow listeners to bypass visual distractions and focus on the piano-playing, and in his latest offering, Chopin's 27 Etudes, his musical and pianistic personality is displayed in high relief. Deljavan is first and foremost a lyrical player. For him, the phrase is paramount, an excellent attribute in a Chopin player. His imagination is vivid, though sometimes it leads him into a stylistic no man's land, where details are worried to death and the forest is lost for the trees.

The exquisite E major Etude (Op 10 No 3) maintains a persuasive lyrical calm, followed by a C sharp minor (No 4) that is furious, galvanised and exciting. The sprightly energy of 'Black Keys' (No 5) seems particularly apt, and the 'Revolutionary' (No 12) roils without becoming overblown. …

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