Music Of A Bygone Era / Frank Glazer
The disc opens with a curvaceous and ravishingly sung out account of Mendelssohn's Spring Song, followed by Alfred Grünfeld's pretty if overlong Romanze and Grieg's Papillon, which is fuller in body and less cameo-like than we often hear. Glazer pays heed to the inner voices in Godowsky's Alt-Wien, although it doesn't quite attain the tonal magic of Shura Cherkassky's recently reissued 1974 recording. Although Sinding's Rustle of Spring, Moszkowski's E major Waltz, and Rubinstein's Melody in F would benefit from a lighter touch and more rippling accompanimental figures, Glazer's legato scales and subtle tonal shadings--using remarkably little pedal--in Liadov's Musical Snuff-Box are worthy of the old Hofmann and Rosenthal recordings.
Rubinstein's Kamennoi-Ostrow moves too slowly to sustain the music's bland harmonic appeal, while Paderewski's Menuet in G and Macdowell's Witches Dance are a shade heavy-handed and lacking in élan. Glazer accommodates the prevalent thick textures of Dohnanyi's "Nalia" transcription by taking overly slow tempos, yet the pianist's sustaining power prevents them from sounding labored. On the other hand, Glazer's fingers sound 60 years younger in Stephen Heller's fluffy transcription of Schubert's "The Trout", while Liszt's Third Liebestraume is direct, elegant, and free of treacle. All told, a lovely disc.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
Catalog Number: BCD9194
Label: Bridge Records
Composer: Alfred Gruenfeld, Anatole Liadov, Anton Rubinstein, Christian Sinding, Edvard Grieg, Edward MacDowell, Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Liszt, Ignace Jan Paderewski, Léo Delibes, Leopold Godowsky, Moritz Moszkowski, Stephen Heller
Performer: Frank Glazer