dinsdag 27 maart 2012
Debussy - Children's Corner
Again it's Pommier that does it for me. His Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum sparkles like a glass of Champagne. Jimbo's Lullaby invades the child's slumber with a suitable mix of sadness and mystery. The Serenade for the Doll is simple and unaffectionate but resonates with unfulfilled yearnings. The Snow is Dancing is a startling blend of elation and barely suppressed terror. Another beautiful vignette is the The Little Shepherd, which captures the atmosphere of the great outdoors with uncanny, almost Bartokian precision and colour. Harmonically the latter two pieces seems to resonate with the whole-tone and modal scales so typical for the Hungarian composer. Golliwog's Cake-walk, finally, is suitably brash and droll.
I compared with a few other readings. In the autumn of his career Nelson Freire's reputation has reached Himalayan heights. But his take on Debussy's Children's Corner sounds too self-conscious to my ears. And much of it is drenched in a uniform sauce of grandfatherly benevolence. Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is very much the opposite with clinical readings that decidedly lack poetry. I'm not even going to mention Monique Haas who seems to invade the keyboard as if she was clad in a suit of armour.
This is special: Horowitz playing the Serenade as an encore. Amazingly slow (a full minute slower than Pommier) but amazing in its affective scope too ...