Magazine article Musical Opinion

Elgar: Enigma Variations; in Smyrna; Serenade; Presto; Adieu; Skizze; Griffinesque; Salut D'amour; Sonatina; Dream Children; Concert Allegro

Magazine article Musical Opinion

Elgar: Enigma Variations; in Smyrna; Serenade; Presto; Adieu; Skizze; Griffinesque; Salut D'amour; Sonatina; Dream Children; Concert Allegro

Article excerpt

ELGAR: Enigma Variations; In Smyrna; Serenade; Presto; Adieu; Skizze; Griffinesque; Salut d'amour; Sonatina; Dream Children; Concert Allegro

Maria Garzon: Piano

ASV CDDCA1065 77' 21 "

The tone of Elgar's music, highly emotional yet uneasy, now extrovert, now inhibited, now romantic, now nostalgic, seems essentially English despite the sources of his style being Schumann, Brahms and Wagner. It is remarkable that it has taken exactly 100 years for the first recording to be made of his solo piano transcription of the orchestral work that secured his international reputation. Given the international status of Elgar's music, however, it is not especially surprising that this recording should have been made by a Spanish pianist.

Maria Garz6n was born in Madrid and besides recording pieces by Albeniz, Granados, Falla and other Iberian composers has also made a CD of Concertos by the Bohemian pianist and composer Jan Ladislav Dussek, which he wrote while in London, where he played at Johann Peter Salomon's concerts in 1790, the year before Salomon brought Haydn to London.

Garzon has an excellent technique, makes a beautiful sound, and has been well recorded by ASV. Thoroughly attuned to Elgar, she particularly well conveys the grandeur of the Nimrod and the final Variations. The richness of, say, Variation 9 is likewise suggested, but the piano obviously cannot reproduce the orchestral force summoned up in Variations 4, 11 and especially 7 and the finale. In this latter and in Variation 11 she sometimes has to hit fairly hard. …

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