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Pianos and Pianists - Consultant Editor Ates Orga



Ates Orga

listens to some of Eileen Joyce's concerto recordings
in a timely reissue from Dutton Laboratories


 << Continued from page 2 

Backed by the best conductors and orchestral players of the day, the present performances, 78s from the height of Joyce's success, are an eloquent testimony to her art. The pianism is consumate, the playing limpid and taut, the touch ringing but softly rounded, the bass unpushed and mellow, the expression elegant, the formal design and dynamic nuances tightly grasped. Finely pointed orchestrally, her Mendelssohn, far from being a pretty-frocked school-room reading, is a weightily considered account, felicitously detailed and crisply phrased. Her inclination to accellerate some of the crescendos (for instance 2'54" into the Andante ), like her rubato at 4'29" of the finale, equally her impulsive joining in with the orchestra for very the last tutti, may not be the way we (clinically) play this music nowadays but on its own (emotional) period terms it entirely convinces. Similarly the Franck collaboration with Munch, not least for Joyce's musico-dramatic ability to generate line and tension across a sustained span (from 11'50"). Edward Sackville-West's withering disdain for this expressively shaped serioso performance - 'too ill-balanced to be recommended' (The Record Guide, London 1951) - is hard to reconcile. (He and his colleagues had more time for the pre-war Turina.)

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Copyright © Ates Orga, December 3rd 1999


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