SCHUBERT: Piano Sonata in A Major, D. 664; Drei Klavierstuecke, D. 946; Fantasy in C Major, D. 760 “Wanderer”; Allegretto in C Minor, D. 915 – Georgy Tchaidze, piano – Honens, 66:54 [www.honens.com/Honens-Shop.aspx] ****:
Russian pianist Georgy Tchaidze became First Laureate of the Honens Competition in Canada, 2009. A graduate of the Moscow State Conservatory, he studied with Sergey Dorensky and since, with Klaus Hellwig at the Berlin University of the Arts. Tchaidze plays with decided sensitivity, as in the 1819 Schubert Sonata in A, D. 664, taken briskly but delicately, shaded and nuanced according to its harmonic shifts. The music-box sonority surpasses even my favorite Myra Hess for its diaphanous tissue. The D Major Andante moves more slowly, allowing us to savor Tchaidze’s otherwise hasty figures.
That Tchaidze can provide percussive firepower emerges grandly in the Wanderer Fantasy, which hasn’t given me quite the number of tremors since the famous Gary Graffman inscription from Sony some forty years ago. The Allegretto in C Minor of 1827 found an early admirer in Artur Schnabel. In Tchaidze’s rendition, the music bears a valedictory quality, a farewell (abschied) of especial beauty, perhaps in homage to Beethoven. Its 6/8 arpeggios might allude to the third movement of the Beethoven C Minor Symphony. The canonic elements gain a mesmeric clarity under Tchaidze’s lucid hands.
Tchaidze plays the Drei Klavierstuecke of May 1828 faster than my taste prefers–almost reminiscent of Claudio Arrau’s firebrand days–but none can deny his passion and commitment to their manifold beauties. The E-flat Minor moves in a series of nervous arches that bound a central section of wistful meditation. The almost rhapsodic meanderings of the songful E-flat Major definitely appeal to Tchaidze, whose speed does not negate the long lines of the outside section nor the vehement turbulence of its two trios in C Minor and A-flat Minor . The C Major Klavierstucke’s playful syncopations suggest a rustic dance or even “wind chimes” to Tchaidze; the trio a D-flat etude in elfin colors. For all of its potently dark figures, the Wanderer Fantasy bursts with bravura elegance in Tchaidze’s version, and he makes a strong case for its affinity for Liszt‘s B Minor Sonata. We might speculate that were Tchaidze’s approach more mellow in the future, his art could well resemble that of the intellectual keyboardists Alfred Brendel and Leon Fleisher.
A rich reflections into Rachmaninoff’s oeuvre