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Review: Uta Weyand

On top of that, her second CD, released in 2003, contains works of the leading Spanish composer Enrique Granados. The surprising part is that this is actually only her second album. Her debut contained works of the standard repertoir for the piano and was released in the year 2000. However, her international career started in 1990 already and guarantees her a respectable position, including a lot of awards. And her latest CD is just another confirmation of the fact that we are dealing with a great pianist here.

The album is entirely dedicated to Granados, except for a small dip into Domenico Scarlatti. His works on the other hand are in fact piano transcriptions by the hand of Granados. The striking resemblance to the music of Chopin is the first thing that catches one's eye. Which might also be the reason that his music never really made it to any sort of popularity in the rest of Europe and has apparently always remained in Chopins shadow. In the context of his time, it was neither progressive nor surprising. Main characteristics are natural and obvious harmonies and easy melodies, without any too complicated polyphonic tissues. His music might seem to be easier than Chopins, but it sure isn't any less challenging.

The CD starts off with the Escenas Romanticas, which come in six parts and are a clear reference to Chopin, as the first two parts are called Mazurka and Berceuse. This is intimate and gentle music with some virtuoso passages every now and then. When it comes to virtuosity, the fifth part wins the trophy. The calmness that these pieces excude are a significant characteristic of Weyand's play, in the fifth part as well. Timing's perfect throughout and there is not a single early cue at any transition. She also manages to combine this with precise and transparent playing, based on an unlimited virtuosity and technique. Another striking feature is her feel for dynamics, both within the tonality in a piece and within a chord. By this, she perfectly demonstrates the dividing line between melody and accompaniment. The producers have furthermore captured all of this beautifully transparent and beautifully sounding on CD.

A lost manuscript containing 26 sonatas by Scarlatti once fell into the hands  of Granados. Which is the reason for his work on them and their relative current fame. Granados probably related to them sonatas, because Scarlatti dedicated these to a royal family in Spain. Weyand plays three of these on this CD and that makes her the first to ever record them. Even though the music is originally Scarlatti's, Granados contribution to the pieces consists of extending their length and adding chords.

Valses Poeticos is composed of seven short waltzes and strongly reminds one of the ambience of Escenas Romanticas: Elegant, calm and even serene with some displays of virtuosity. Weyand demonstrates an excellent feeling for waltzes with the right amount of smoothness when it comes to tempo and rhythm. The CD ends with the grand Allegro de Concierto, in which Granados tried to manifest all of his skills. This piece swiflty switches between the most intimate moments and technically trying fortissimo passages. Weyand handles Granados vision without any apparent difficulties and puts in everything she has got. Every last drop of  her aforementioned talent is expressed and once again underlines her status as a promissing young musician. BY DANIEL VAN HORSSEN

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