Review by: Jed Distler
Artistic Quality: 10
Sound Quality: 10
Those who approach this disc expecting pleasant, genial Mendelssohn playing will be pleasantly surprised by Javier Perianes’ full-bodied sonority, wide dynamic range, and colorful tonal palette. What is more, his expressive impulses are consistently proportioned and stylistically apt.
Both variation sets are assiduously unified and technically brilliant, while the two Venetian Gondola Songs (Op. 19 No. 6 and Op. 30 No. 6) sing out with lilting rhythm and three-dimensional echo effects. In Op. 14 Perianes proves to be one of the rare pianists to impart a sense of breadth throughout the opening Andante without becoming ponderous. If the actual Rondo isn’t quite so light and genuinely “capriccioso” as we often hear from old timers like Cortot and Hofmann, Perianes’ scrupulous articulation of the double notes will keep many a modern-day pianist honest.
The gorgeous “Duet” Op. 38 No. 6 and Op. 53 No. 1 Andante con moto display Perianes’ legato fingerwork at its most heart melting, and even the ever-so-slightly mannered tenutos in the Op. 67 No. 2 Allegro leggiero are timed with the utmost specificity and attention to accentuation. One cannot fault Perianes’ pianistic finesse in the E minor Prelude and Fugue, although Rudolf Serkin’s Fugue achieves more powerful momentum and dramatic build through his angular phrasing and steadier basic tempo. However, Perianes’ sublime cantabile phrasing and infinitely nuanced arpeggiated accompaniment throughout the Op. 102 No. 4 Andante un poco agitato is that of an old soul. What an intelligently programmed, beautifully engineered, and absolutely lovely release!
Buy Now from Arkiv Music
Recording Details:Reference Recording: Prelude & Fugue Op. 35: Serkin (Sony), Variations serieuses Op. 54: Perahia (Sony), Thibaudet (Decca), Andante and Rondo capriccioso Op. 14: Arrau (EMI), Katchen (Decca)
- MENDELSSOHN, FELIX:15 Songs Without Words; Andante con variazioni Op. 82; Andante & Rondo capriccioso Op. 14; Prelude & Fugue in E minor Op. 35 No. 1; Variations serieuses Op. 54
- Javier Perianes (piano)
- Harmonia Mundi - 902195