<< -- 2 -- John Bell Young INDIVIDUATED LYRICISM
Her remarkable account of the otherwise stormy C minor Etude Op 25 No 12 [listen -- track 8, 0:00-1:26], for example, avoids the pugilistic approach indulged by so many pianists. Instead, she conveys the work's largesse and sweep by deftly coloring its larger phrase units. That is not to suggest that her playing is vague; on the contrary it is exceptionally detailed, articulate, and observant of every compositional flurry and event. What sets Ms Rashkovetsky's playing apart, beyond its sturdy tenderness, is her grasp of the cumulative effects of those patterns, and how the rhythms add up. She captures, too, the agitated flutter and melancholy uncertainty of the F minor Etude in one of the more subtle but compelling performances on record [listen -- track 6, 0:00-1:43]. Likewise, in spite of a few wrong notes in the elegiac C sharp minor Etude Op 25 No 7, which she allows to unfold at a slower tempo than most pianists, she allows nothing to compromise either its efficacy or its emotional power. Her choice of tempo is a calculated risk, but it works.
The kind of individuated lyricism that Ms Rashkovetsky brings to the études leaves one wanting to hear more. Her approach to Chopin, though wholly different from that of Cortot or Moravec, for example, nevertheless bears something crucial in common with those great artists, who likewise dig deep in search of Chopin's essential introversion. Given the imaginative range of her performances, one can only hope that she will eventually record all twenty-seven études.
Copyright © 15 September 2004
John Bell Young, Tampa, Florida, USA