Ligeti: Etudes For Piano, Musica Ricercata, Etc / Chung

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My first encounter with Lucille Chung's cultivated pianism and individual artistry occurred at her 1996 New York recital debut where she played one of the most memorable all-Liszt programs in my listening experience. She proves every bit as impressive in a cross-section of Ligeti's piano music, and easily holds her own in the company of supreme Ligeti interpreters such as Fredrik Ullén and Pierre-Laurent Aimard. The chattering rhythmic complexities throughout the second book of Etudes benefit from the immediacy and impact of Dynamic's close miking. Chung doesn't delineate the inner rhythms of Der Zauberlehrling or L'escalier di diable with Aimard's easy adroitness, yet she makes Fém's staccatos more distinct and brings more varied articulation and melodic pointing to Columna infinita.

In the two early Capriccios and the Invention, I lean more toward Chung's fanciful, crisply dynamic readings than to Irina Kataeva's accomplished sobriety in Sony's Ligeti Edition. It's a toss-up between Aimard and Chung in the Musica Ricercata's 11 quirky, diverse short movements. Aimard makes his points through steady rhythmic cumulation and has a superior instrument on hand. However, Chung's discreetly effective rubatos personalize the music to more dramatic effect. I'm not sure if Chung coached these works with Ligeti, but I think he'll warm to how this gifted pianist plays his music.
--Jed Distler,

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: DYN-CDS358

  • UPC: 8007144603588

  • Label: Dynamic

  • Composer: György Ligeti

  • Performer: Lucille Chung