Liszt - Lazaridis - Gramophone Magazine
02 October 2006Gramophone Magazine
George-Emmanuel Lazaridis is a young, London-based Greek pianist whose Liszt recital enters a crowded, fiercely competitive field. Even so, his performance of the B minor Sonata one of the great milestones of keyboard literature, is of such drama, power and concentration that it holds its own even when you stop to consider tirelessly celebrated recordings by Horowitz (his early 1932 version), Argerich, Brendel and Zimerman. I should also add that it is sufficiently personal and poetically committed (notably in the Sonata's still centre) that it defies comparison, speaking on its own highly individual yet unfailingly serious terms. The opening octaves are prolonged like the muffled timpani strokes rather than a bleakly familiar staccato alternative and the fugue commencing the last section (so often a trouble spot) is awe-inspiringly cogent and propulsive.
Again, in the Paganini Etudes you are made instantly aware of a high-voltage virtuosity characterising and enlarging every aspect of the music's diablerie. La campanella is taken at a true Allegretto, allowing for maximum power as well as brilliance, and both La chasse and the concluding A minor Etude are alive with individual touches (some unmarked accelerations and an added bass growl to announce the final fortissimo grandioso variation that would surely have delighted rather than piqued the composer). This is hardly the playing of a novice or a performance of mere potential, it is already one of formidable eloquence and achievement, and it has been finely recorded and presented.
Related LinksGeorge-Emmanuel LazaridisLiszt: Sonata and Etudes