Xiayin Wang takes on Rachmaninov with generally successful and satisfying results. The three opuses here sound about equal in technical difficulty, which in Rachmaninov's case means, really, really hard to play. The speed, dynamics, and even just the reach required to get the right notes combine in an often fiendish manner. Wang is certainly up to it (although there are one or two spots where notes were inadvertently sacrificed, but aren't noticeable to the average listener), giving it her all, impressively so in the Moment musical No. 6 and in variations marked "Vivace" or "Agitato." The Moments musicaux are not the strongest of what's here. Wang certainly sounds at ease with the rapid figurations in Nos. 2 and 4, but overall she has an individual sense of rubato. The Études-tableaux are notable for the way she uses her touch and shading to bring real contrasts of character to every small phrase. Étude No. 3 has several different tempo markings, and Wang puts nuanced interest into each section. The Corelli Variations are skillfully handled, so the listener never loses the theme or momentum. Wang does not use romantic indulgence or technical brashness to impress in this music, rather, she uses her strength and musical sense of style. The recording's sound is clear and present.
AllMusic Review by Patsy Morita
|Moments musicaux, Op. 16|
|Études-tableaux, Op. 33|
No. 2 in C major. Allegro - ( ) - Tempo 1 - Meno mosso - Tempo 1 - Appassionato e sempre più mosso - Meno mosso - A tempo - Veloce - Meno mosso
No. 3 in C minor. Grave - Meno mosso - Molto tranquillo - Poco più mosso - Poco a poco agitato - Poco tranquillo
|Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op. 42|