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Posted January 5, 2012
On this recording, Gabriel Lipkind has put together a collection of “miniatures”, many with folklore roots – and all of them challenging to play. To his credit, Mr. Lipkind has gathered together treasures from quite a few different composers (Wieniawski, Gabrielli, Prokofiev, Scriabin, Mendelssohn, Faure, Bloch, Brahms, Kreisler, and others) that all seem to fit together. Many of the pieces feature Alexandra Lubchansky on piano, and these two musicians (as indicated in the liner notes) definitely know each other well having performed duets in years past. You can hear how much they are enjoying being able to play together again.
Particularly noteworthy (and fun!) are Wieniawski’s Scherzo-Tarantella Op. 16, the Albeniz Tango, Mendelssohn’s Song Without Words No. 43 (which is distractingly gorgeous), Tchaikowsky’s Lullaby (hauntingly beautiful, with the piano and cello seemingly intertwined – this is an amazing piece), and Kreisler’s Chinese Tambourin.
As for the liner notes, they don’t go into a great deal of detail on each piece. But they do convey the feelings of the artists, provide some background into the original instrument(s) the piece was written for, and give a conceptual context into the overall collection. This is a fun set of short pieces, and is wonderful if this kind of thing is what you are in the mood for. Recommended.