David's Review Corner
, September 2020
The fifty-fifth disc in Naxos’s Complete Piano Music of Franz Liszt is largely given to transcriptions of music by his successor in Weimar, the forgotten, Eduard Lassen.
In 1858 he replaced Liszt as Music Director, a most important appointment, and though he composed operas, they had little success, his incidental music for Hebbel’s play Das Nibelungen and Goethe’s Faust was, at best, workaday music. It was at its most imposing in the Symphonic Intermezzo made from music for a Calderon play. Liszt had better material in Donizetti’s successful opera, Lucrezia Borgia, and here, at last, the young Belarusian pianist, Andrey Ivanov, has the scope to impress with a virtuoso showpiece. And so he continues through Weber and some well-known Mendelssohn with two extracts from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, his curious idea of the tempo for the Wedding March having the bride doing a ‘hop, skip and jump’ progression. That apart this multi-awarding pianist greatly impresses as hands flash around the keyboard. A well filled disc at eighty-one minutes, in excellently engineered sessions recorded in the UK’s Birmingham Conservatoire where Ivanov studied. © 2020 David’s Review Corner