Friday, 21 December 2012

Sherban plays Ernst

Volume III of the music of Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst provides more evidence that Ernst wrote agreeable and enjoyable music. In particular, he loved a good tune and playing lovable melodies. The new CD (Toccata Classics) also provides evidence that modern recording producers are all at sea when it comes to balancing violin and piano in these kinds of salon works. The piano's role is normally to provide background harmonies and to support the lone violin (most of the time, but in some places the piano has a prominent melodic role, with the violin accompanying). Sherban Lupu plays valiantly, but all too often his sweet melody is severely impacted by plonking chords on a piano that is given more than equal prominence to the violin. This is wrong. We wish to listen to Mr Lupu playing Ernst's music; we do not want to listen to Ian Hobson playing supporting chords. Come back Emanuel Bay; all is forgiven. It's probably not Hobson's fault that he often dominates the violin part. We need to blame the producer for detracting from our listening pleasure.

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