S022561 Reviews

S022561 Inna Heifetz plays Liszt



I'm reminded of the TV commercial of a few years back that featured a ball player trying out for a team; the young man was named George Herman Ruth. The point of the commercial was that a person with a name made famous by another has to be good. This Heifetz is a pianist. She's from Odessa, hometown of the illustrious violinist. She looks young and she might be a relative of the great Jascha (who was also from Odessa), but the biographical notes do not tell us any of this. She now lives in the United States.She seems to have the chops to have a good career. She also plays Liszt in close accordance to what I think Liszt playing should be. There is pretty wide scope for interpretation in Liszt; the standards I alluded too were probably shaped most strongly by two Indiana University faculty members, Vlado Perlemuter and Jorge Bolet. Now, Bolet live, unlike Bolet on records, managed to play Liszt with tremendous strength but never with a sense of pounding. It's not the strength that I look for first, it's the lack of pounding. Indeed, Bolet on records did tend to pound; the discs of his Liszt playing that I have are not, I think, a fair representation of what I heard him do with an audience present. Miss Heifetz is also free of any sense of pounding. Part of this is due to the really fine recording of the piano on this record. But foremost, I think, is a tendency to think lyrically in this music. Much Liszt playing today uses a touch that I think would be welcome in Prokofiev, or which is found often in Bartok playing (probably wrong there, too). This may be because the program chosen is a very lyrical one, or it may be the reverse; Miss Heifetz might have favored it because her strength is lyrical. The Consolations are tender, the Mephisto-Waltz always has a springy dancing feel to it, the Polish Songs (settings of Chopin vocal works) and the Rigoletto Fantasy do sing. But there is still plenty of power in the conclusions of the Hungarian Rhapsodies. The recording is not only very natural but very delicately judged: We can hear as a very slight presence the sound of the pianist's fingers hitting the keys, over in the left channel, but not obtrusively, making the artist seem more present to us. With the name of Heifetz, Inna will probably get noticed a bit more readily than otherwise. But I think her talent will ensure second and further looks. Recommended.

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