All hail Jeno Jandó, the Hungarian pianist who among other things has recorded the complete piano sonatas of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven plus the complete piano music of Bartók. With a terrific technique, a stalwart constitution, and an indefatigable appetite for work, Jandó is one of the wonders of the digital age. Unfortunately, he is not equally gifted in all repertoires. While he's a master of the Viennese High Classical Style and a champion of the Hungarian Early Modernist Style, Jandó is not all that hot at Brahms' Late Romantic Style, as this 2005 recording of the German master's music demonstrates. One cannot argue with his technique. Jandó is up to the extravagant physical demands of the Two Rhapsodies, Op. 79, and the Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24. But he is not up to either the unrestrained passion of the Waltzes, Op. 39, or the nostalgic expressivity of the Three Intermezzi, Op. 117. Here, Jandó sounds stiff and even awkward at times, as if he found the emotional tone of the music uncongenial. Whatever the reason, this disc will be of interest mainly to Jandó fans who have to hear everything he's recorded. Speaking of recordings, this one made in Phoenix Studio in Diósd, Hungary, in 2005 by producer Ibolya Tóth and engineer János Bohus is very clean, but a bit hard in fortissimos.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Rhapsody for piano in B minor, Op. 79/1|
|Rhapsodies (2) for piano, Op. 79|
|Waltzes (16) for piano, 4 hands (or piano), Op. 39|
|Intermezzi (3) for piano, Op. 117|