Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Perlemuter and Nikolayeva from BBC legends

The BBC seems to have an inexhaustible supply of historical recordings. These two discs are well worth buying. Vlado Perlemuter, born of Polish parents in what is now Estonia, is probably best known as a Chopin interpreter and this set of performances showcases his deep understanding of Chopin. The highlight of this disc is a sinewy performance of the Preludes from 1972, which brings out the strength of Chopin's lyricism without being heavy-handed. The disc also contains a 1964 performance of the 3rd piano sonata , the Scherzo no. 4 and the op. 45 prelude.
Tatiana Nikolayeva is best known for her performances of Bach and Shostakovich (who wrote his preludes for her). These performances from 1991 and 1993 reveal her strength as a Beethoven and Schubert interpreter. The performance of the D960 piano sonata in B flat major is particularly fine. She brings out the structure and internal tensions of the piece without the sturm und drang of many other interpretations (including her compatriot Richter). Probably not a benchmark recording, but well worth listening to.