This album by Slovakian pianist Magdaléna Bajuszová shows a clear delineation as to her strength in piano literature. As the first selection on the CD demonstrates (Appassionata Sonata, Op. 57), her strength is not as a new, innovative interpreter of Beethoven. While there are no glaring errors, missteps, musical aberrations, or distasteful decisions, there's also nothing unique or exciting about her playing. Generally technically proficient, Bajuszová's playing is somewhat safe and predictable. She has a tendency to muddy melodies that are played in the left hand. The third movement is drastically over-pedaled. Very little is different in her performance of Schubert's Three Pieces, D. 946. Her playing here can best be described as metronomic and lacking in introspection. Fortunately, she pulls out a hit with Bartók's Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs, Op. 20. At last Bajuszová shows some true personality, takes risks, and plays with an immense amount of character and conviction. In truth, her performances really come across with the improvisational nature that their title indicates. Nothing is muddy; nothing is metronomic; the pedal is not an issue. Listeners may look forward to future recordings from this genre, as it is clearly here where Bajuszová's strengths as an artist lie.
AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor ("Appassionata"), Op. 57|
|Pieces (3) for piano (impromptus), D. 946|
|Improvisations (8) on Hungarian Peasant Songs for piano, Sz. 74, BB 83 (Op. 20)|