Efficient and sensitive
A Philip Amalong piano recital, reviewed by
As recorded piano recitals go, Philip Amalong on the Eroica label provides a
highly commendable and attractive hour of listening that should meet with
justifiable approval as a demonstration of an efficient and sensitive
performance of a popular and accessible recital repertoire.
the B-flat minor Prelude and Fugue from Book 1 and the two Brahms Ballades
Op 10, he then gives a stirring performance of the exhilarating 1st Sonata
by Alberto Ginastera, a work that pianists enjoy, demanding just the sort of
rhythmic precision and buoyancy required by a work heavily coloured by
[listen -- track 8, 0:00-0:59].
Amalong then stays in
the early twentieth century with Prokofiev (one of the ten Romeo and Juliet
pieces), Granados (The Maiden and the Nightingale) and an enthusiastically
nostalgic but uninspiring Rondo Capriccioso by Father Angelo della Picca,
Emeritus Professor of Music and Theology at the College of Mount St Joseph
[listen -- track 11, 0:00-0:50].
Amalong was born in Philadelphia and, with the
aid of a Van Cliburn scholarship, went to study at Cincinnati, since when he
has made his mark as both soloist and a versatile accompanist. But the
musical world may well demand far more than this repertoire and enterprise
for wider success.