Clara Rodriguez Plays the Music of Teresa Carreño

Clara Rodriguez Plays the Music of Teresa Carreño

by Clara Rodriguez
     
 
The South American nation of Venezuela has emerged as a source for pianistic talent, particularly given the prominence and popularity of pianist Gabriela Montero. From the newly named Nimbus Alliance comes a disc from Clara Rodriguez, whom by comparison is an already established name, recording for the Meridian and now-defunct ASV

Overview

The South American nation of Venezuela has emerged as a source for pianistic talent, particularly given the prominence and popularity of pianist Gabriela Montero. From the newly named Nimbus Alliance comes a disc from Clara Rodriguez, whom by comparison is an already established name, recording for the Meridian and now-defunct ASV labels and serving as a professor of piano at the Royal College of Music in London. Nimbus Alliance's Clara Rodriguez Plays the Music of Teresa Carreño focuses on the compositional output of Carreño, the great Venezuelan pianist of the nineteenth century who was one of the most powerful and popular women of her era. Apart for the one original work -- "Mì Teresita" -- which Carreño recorded on her own as a piano roll, recordings of Carreño's music are practically nonexistent, though pianist Alexandra Oehler made a selection for the limited-edition Ars Musici label in 1999. Rodriguez's playing throughout is disciplined, well-coordinated, thoughtful, and restrained, all qualities not easily associated with Carreño herself until late career; earlier, Carreño was noted for going for the jugular in her playing. However, what Rodriguez does with the music is the right choice, because Carreño's compositions are nowhere near as stormy, flashy, or demonstrative as she was; most are surprisingly straightforward and direct in content, even as some are driven by virtuosic devices almost invisible to the ear, yet a lot of work for the pianist. They take a little getting used to, as one of her teachers was Louis Moreau Gottschalk, whose influence can be heard in much of this music. To Carreño, Gottschalk's "The Last Hope" would have been a groundbreaking masterwork and an inspirational model within a certain romantic milieu. It still is, but to post-twentieth century ears, "The Last Hope"'s protracted emotional longuers and strings of meandering triplets bring to mind an idiom long seen as hopelessly outmoded. Carreño's music is not wholly free of such influence; the long melody of her "Ballade, Op. 15," is driven along by an upward arpeggio figure, and before that section is concluded, listeners might find themselves squirming in their seats. However, most of the rest of it is quite enchanting. The majority of Carreño's compositions date from her teen years, and she was a very good teen composer. Carreño's waltz "La corbeille de fleurs, Op. 9," written when she was around 11 years old, contains plenty of elements of surprise and is full of the spontaneity and ambition of youth, even if the edges aren't quite rounded off. Carreño's "Mazurka de Salon, Op. 30," is genuinely lovely and gently syncopated, and while we don't quite hear the part of Carreño's late "Vals gayo" that "seems to draw from French Impressionism" as so indicated by Rodriguez, what is clear is a deepening of Carreño's idiom, perhaps assuming some of the mildly modern veneer of the music of her then-estranged husband, Eugen d'Albert. Carreño's piano compositions were intended as encore pieces and that is exactly what they are, yet they are not nearly as glittery, showy, and superficial as they could be. On the other hand, Carreño's music is not as hardily romantic and personal as Clara Schumann's, nor is it as masterfully compressed and understated as Fanny Mendelssohn's nor as stylish and magisterial as that of Chaminade. But it's still worthwhile, and Nimbus Alliance's Clara Rodriguez Plays the Music of Teresa Carreño gradually tends to grow on the listener, rewarding a bit more with each repeated play. Both Rodriguez and Nimbus Alliance are to be congratulated for opening a window onto the personal creativity of this dynamic and highly interesting woman.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/09/2009
Label:
Nimbus Records
UPC:
0710357610325
catalogNumber:
6103
Rank:
192379

Tracks

  1. Le Printemps, waltz for piano, Op. 25  - Teresa Carreño  - Gabriele Bella  - Clara Rodriguez  - Halenka Bednar  - Irving Wardle
  2. Plainte, for piano, Op. 17 (Elegie No. 1)  - Teresa Carreño  - Gabriele Bella  - Clara Rodriguez  - Halenka Bednar  - Irving Wardle
  3. Ballade, for piano, Op. 15  - Teresa Carreño  - Gabriele Bella  - Clara Rodriguez  - Halenka Bednar  - Irving Wardle
  4. Intermezzo scherzoso, for piano, Op. 34  - Teresa Carreño  - Gabriele Bella  - Clara Rodriguez  - Halenka Bednar  - Irving Wardle
  5. Corbeille des Fleurs, for piano, Op. 9  - Teresa Carreño  - Gabriele Bella  - Clara Rodriguez  - Halenka Bednar  - Irving Wardle
  6. Mazurka de salon, for piano, Op. 30  - Teresa Carreño  - Gabriele Bella  - Clara Rodriguez  - Halenka Bednar  - Irving Wardle
  7. Un bal en rêve, for piano, Op. 26  - Teresa Carreño  - Gabriele Bella  - Clara Rodriguez  - Halenka Bednar  - Irving Wardle
  8. Partie, for piano, Op. 18 (Elegie No. 2)  - Teresa Carreño  - Gabriele Bella  - Clara Rodriguez  - Halenka Bednar  - Irving Wardle
  9. La fausse note, for piano, Op. 39  - Teresa Carreño  - Gabriele Bella  - Clara Rodriguez  - Halenka Bednar  - Irving Wardle
  10. Un reve en mer, meditation for piano, Op. 28  - Teresa Carreño  - Gabriele Bella  - Clara Rodriguez  - Halenka Bednar  - Irving Wardle
  11. Petite Valse, for piano, o. Op. ("Teresita")  - Teresa Carreño  - Gabriele Bella  - Clara Rodriguez  - Halenka Bednar  - Irving Wardle
  12. Le sommeil de l'enfant, berceuse for piano, Op. 35  - Teresa Carreño  - Gabriele Bella  - Clara Rodriguez  - Halenka Bednar  - Irving Wardle
  13. Vals gayo, for piano  - Teresa Carreño  - Gabriele Bella  - Clara Rodriguez  - Halenka Bednar  - Irving Wardle
  14. Italian Sketches (2), for piano, Op. 33: Venise (Venecia)  - Teresa Carreño  - Gabriele Bella  - Clara Rodriguez  - Halenka Bednar  - Irving Wardle
  15. Une revue à Prague, for piano, Op. 27  - Teresa Carreño  - Gabriele Bella  - Clara Rodriguez  - Halenka Bednar  - Irving Wardle

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