Search - Dmitry Shostakovich, Alberto Ginastera, Bela Bartok :: Dance

Dmitry Shostakovich, Alberto Ginastera, Bela Bartok
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, Special Interest, Pop, Classical


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Kathryn Stott Dances
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 11/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Kathy Stott is one of the better British pianists and she has recorded many CDs for EMI and Chandos over the years. The notion of recording a CD of piano music that is based on dance is a clever one. Most of the pieces recorded here are rather slight, but none the less delightful for that. There are many familiar works, such as Sibelius's Valse Triste, Albéniz's Tango, Chopin's haunting Mazurka, Op. 17, No. 4 and Brahms's First Hungarian Dance, all done convincingly. (I particularly liked how she made Valse Triste really sound like a dance, not a dirge.) And there are many works that are unfamiliar, too, such as Graham Fitkin's 'Old Style', written for Stott and in its first recording, with its knock-kneed rhythms. There is Piazzolla ('Milonga del ángel'), which is unfamiliar to me, but may be well-known for all I know -- I seem to have a blind spot for the charms of Piazzolla but I liked this one. I noticed that the delightfully named Mozart Camargo Guarnieri (listed here simply (and misspelled) as 'M. Carmargo Guarnieri') is represented with his marvelous 'Danza negra', a piece not often heard but which should be. Stravinsky's slightly un-tango-like 'Tango' is here, and given a good reading. Satie's delicious 'Je te veux', originally a music-hall song, is played with just the right amount of faux-naïveté; I guess it would be too much to ask for Stott also to sing its salacious lyrics!

The CD starts off with Shostakovich's 'Three Fantastic Dances', Op. 5, which are rarely heard. I suppose that's because they are too slight for most piano recitals, but they are quintessentially saucy Shostakovich. And after Ginastera's 'Danza de la moza donosa' come Bartók's catchy 'Romanian Folk Dances' which, as it happens, I'll be hearing tomorrow in a recital by Cédric Tiberghien. A nice preview!

I haven't mentioned everything on the CD -- there are twenty-three pieces in all -- but you get the idea of what this collection contains. A delight.

Scott Morrison"