2005-03-15 06:58:23 UTC
following her mediocre Beethoven PC4 and op.110,
and Rachmaninov Paganini Rhapsody and Corelli
Last night at Tower I came across her new Chopin
and Rachmaninov B-flat sonatas CD. Rachmaninov's
2nd Sonata was Grimaud's debut recording, and a
remarkable (if not outstanding) performance for
a 16-year old. She has an obvious affinity for
this music (or at least so she thinks), so I
decided to give her the benefit of doubt and
bought the CD.
What a mistake!
The Chopin Sonata gets a perfunctory, auto-pilot
interpretation that one would reasonably expect
from any Juilliard student these days -- and
with better technique.
Rachmaninov fares a little better: she does at
least show some enthusiasm for the music -- but
not much more unfortunately. It is not as good a
performance as her debut recording. The second
movement sounds utterly mechanical. Technically
she sounds terribly strained in the 3rd movement.
The sound is an example of DG piano recording at
its very worst. Very closely recorded and with an
artificially inflated bass register -- probably to
make up for the lack of weight and fullness in her
tone, and with an overly bright and shrill treble.
For fillers, two of the most square and wooden
traversals of the Berceuse and the Barcarolle.
What a waste of $18! (at least one can be happy
some of it goes to the wolves!).
Now she moves to the auto-pass list -- forever.
Needless to say, the jacket would make a fine
cover for Marie-Claire. Maybe she'll start a
duo with Ali Wood. Someone who loves wolves so
much must be able to find a soft spot in her
heart for dingoes.