For her technical ability, if not for her expressive potential, pianist Leticia Gómez-Tagle deserves fairly high marks, though they are not high enough to make her debut CD a great album. This 2009 Urtext release of Frédéric Chopin's 24 Preludes, Op. 28, and the Polonaise in A flat major, Op. 53, is unimpressive, in part because Gómez-Tagle does not communicate any depth of feeling in her phrasing, or much variety of tonal color in her touch, despite her obvious skill and steadiness in difficult passages. The Preludes have plateaus of characterization suggesting appropriate moods, but they seem not to involve the performer beyond an intellectual grasp of what Chopin may have wanted to express. The approach is not quite cerebral or clinical, but one can sense that Gómez-Tagle is somewhat detached and cool. The sound of this disc doesn't help, because the airless acoustic and the close-up microphone placement conspire to make the recording seem flat and dry, two qualities that negatively affect the presentation and make subtle adjustments of tone seem slight. Perhaps Gómez-Tagle would have benefited from a more open and resonant space, which might have transformed the music and made it more evocative, and perhaps given the pianist more of a dynamic range to work with, but that would have been a vastly different performance than the closed-in and frustrating one offered here.
Chopin: 24 Preludes, Op. 28; Polonaise, Op. 53 "Heroica" Review
by Blair Sanderson
|24 Preludes, Op. 28|