Table of Contents
‘Blueprint’: Piano Tunes by Nikolai Kapustin for Jazz Trio
Frank Dupree, piano Jakob Krupp, bass Obi Jenne, drums (Capriccio)
When I claimed last calendar year on the pianist Frank Dupree’s very first album of functions by Nikolai Kapustin, Dupree previewed items to occur. For his comply with-up engagement with Kapustin, a swing-motivated Russian composer, Dupree claimed he would release a sequence of solo piano works performed by a conventional jazz trio.
Now that the success are out, the wisdom of the thought is apparent. Dupree could have recorded an pleasant solo set, as his come to feel for Kapustin is as fluid as ever. But we currently have no absence of a single-player recitals of this songs — like from Marc-André Hamelin, Steven Osborne and Kapustin himself.
The improvised factor on “Blueprint” is subtle. Dupree plays the piano solos as they have been notated, and the bassist Jakob Krupp follows his still left hand. The album’s distinguishing component of improvisation is remaining to the percussionist Obi Jenne. And it is his interventions that truly elevate this set. In a piece like the Op. 41 Variants, Kapustin moves briskly among distinctive syncopated styles Jenne’s mutable beat-juggling highlights just about every change. Potentially not each item here needed the jazz combo remedy. But when the preparations get the job done — as on picks from the 8 Live performance Études — this trio adds to the materials a new jolt. SETH COLTER Walls
Brahms: Late Piano Is effective
Paul Lewis, piano (Harmonia Mundi)
To hear to the pianist Paul Lewis’s new album of late Brahms, you would imagine these parts had been penned just just after the previous sonatas of Schubert, which Lewis has recorded with wrenching restraint. Splicing the hole between 1828 and the early 1890s, Lewis’s is a vision of Brahms as fully Classicist these final four sets of solos are rendered with judicious tempos and a clear, calm touch — smart, sensitive readings.
The pearly moderation that would make Lewis’s Schubert so movingly humble at times retains his Brahms shy of grandeur and primarily mystery. These are tender, affecting interpretations more than pensive, permit alone unsettling, kinds Lewis often stints the softest dynamics, supplying a slight feeling of straightforwardness when you want intimations (at least) of the epic. The Intermezzo in E flat (Op. 117, No. 1) doesn’t feel to shed alone in the center part — as it does in Radu Lupu’s benchmark 1987 recording — so the return to the theme is fewer than frustrating.
But a cleareyed Intermezzo in A (Op. 118, No. 2) is deeply enjoyable the Intermezzo in E Minimal (Op. 119, No. 2) leavens lucidity with dreaminess. And Lewis’s sparkle in the middle of the Romanze in F (Op. 118, No. 5) presents the change again to sober experience at the finish quietly enormous ability. ZACHARY WOOLFE
Lise Davidsen, soprano Leif Ove Andsnes, piano (Decca)
The recording marketplace has ultimately found a way to capture Lise Davidsen. A luminous soprano of exceptional array, equally capable of floodlight electricity and the piercing smallness of a laser pointer, she wasn’t effectively represented on her first two albums for Decca, which have been files of delicate and smart interpretation extra than versatility or resounding may well.
Now, immediately after packages of Wagner, Strauss, Beethoven and Verdi, comes a considerably extra intimate album of Grieg tunes done with the pianist Leif Ove Andsnes — a pairing of two fantastic Norwegian musicians in performs by their country’s most treasured composer. The scale of this program is greater suited than Davidsen’s before albums at conveying the dexterity of her voice, and her gift for endearing levity there are playful turns of phrase right here that you just do not get in “Tannhäuser.”
All through the album — which begins with the 8-music cycle “The Mountain Maid” and proceeds with excerpts from other collections — Andsnes is an evocative tone painter, with dreamy glissandos in “Singing,” galloping festivity in “Midsummer Eve” and flowing momentum in “A Boat on the Waves Is Rocking.” And Davidsen is a nimble raconteur, lovingly warm in the opening cycle’s “Meeting,” then shattering in its Schubertian finale, “At the Gjaetle Brook,” and later bringing the two people lightness and Wagnerian heft to the six music of Op. 48. To the credit of Grieg and these artists, you’ll never ever be so moved by a song identified as “Snail, Snail!” JOSHUA BARONE
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Neville Marriner, conductor (Eloquence)
It’s quick now to be a very little sniffy about Neville Marriner’s achievements with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, a partnership renowned as the most recorded in historical past. With the achievements of the period of time-instrument motion, their hundreds of recordings on modern instruments have gained the status of being a little bit staid — sensible and responsible, to be absolutely sure, but nonetheless dusty relics of an period very best overlooked.
But this extensively pleasant 15-disc established — which for the first time provides jointly 33 Haydn symphonies set down concerning 1970 and 1990 — is sufficient reminder that there were being perfectly very good inventive good reasons Marriner and his chamber-orchestra forces have been these a roaring commercial results.
Conceiving their perform to begin with as a crisp, trendy rejoinder to an more mature, stouter strategy to the Baroque and Classical repertoire, they played this audio with insatiable collective determination — the gradual actions singing gracefully, the outer movements glowing in their travel and invention. If there is a minimal a lot more zest in their accounts of Haydn’s before symphonies than his later on types, they are all brilliantly nicely judged, and complete of daily life. DAVID ALLEN
George Walker: Piano Sonatas
Steven Beck, piano (Bridge)
In 2018, when the composer and pianist George Walker died at 96, there were being a great deal of achievements to memorialize, together with his Pulitzer Prize — the initial awarded to a Black composer. But there was also a dispiriting acknowledgment of a missed option, presented that so handful of elite classical institutions experienced severely engaged with Walker’s do the job while he was alive.
The inattention extended to recordings there stays a noteworthy dearth of sets devoted completely to Walker. Quite partial redress comes in the variety of this new album, in which Steven Beck normally takes on all 5 of Walker’s piano sonatas, composed between 1953 and 2003.
The initially sonata, revised in 1991, provides some of the galloping vitality seemingly essential when suggesting Americana, but it also contains a rambunctious harmonic edge that bristles with maverick spirit. By the time of the Third Sonata, written in 1975 and revised in 1996, atonality experienced taken middle phase. But Walker’s signature come to feel for distinction — together with alternations concerning motifs that ring out and peremptory chordal bursts — is still apparent. With participating in that is slashing and delicate by turns, Beck’s recital accentuates the by means of strains in a protean inventive life. SETH COLTER Partitions