gramophone

Thu 6 Mar 2008

Editor's Choice April 2008

Even with front-runners such as Argerich and Hamelin in the Shostakovich she holds her own, combining her freshness and ebullience with many personal and enchanting touches.LISZT - Piano Concerto No 1, S124
PROKOFIEV - Piano Concerto No 1, Op 10 SHOSTAKOVICH - Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and Strings, Op 35
Lise de la Salle pf with Gábor Boldoczki tpt Gulbenkian Foundation Orchestra, Lisbon / Lawrence Foster
Naïve F V5053 (60’ • DDD)

With this scintillating and eagerly awaited recording, 19-year-old Lise de la Salle makes her concerto debut on disc. Once again her performances are of the highest quality, her rushes of adrenalin balanced by her precise calibration and control.

Even with front-runners such as Argerich and Hamelin in the Shostakovich she holds her own, combining her freshness and ebullience with many personal and enchanting touches.
In the Liszt she is fearless in the face of every treacherous obstacle, but is also romantic and free-wheeling in the Quasi adagio.

The Allegro vivace is acutely focused rather than given with a weaker if more familiar balletic grace, and in the finale de la Salle’s ultra-brilliance and vivacity are very much her own. Indeed, she makes you imagine Liszt’s delight if he had been able to hear such youthful aplomb.

Again, de la Salle is off like the proverbial greyhound at Prokofiev’s first poco più mosso yet she also captures all of the central Andante assai’s bittersweet, faux romanticism.

By her own confession, and unconsciously echoing Arthur Rubinstein, de la Salle believes that artists should nourish their playing with outside interests, with life itself, if it is to do more than sound sterile or self-absorbed, and all her performances on this very special disc refreshingly confirm her philosophy.

She is admirably recorded and partnered by Lawrence Foster, while trumpeter Gábor Boldoczki joins in her sense of fun and mischief in the Shostakovich.
Bryce Morrison