Clélia Iruzun - (The) Waltz Album
Following her album of Latin American Dances‚ also on the Swedish label Intim Musik (11/99)‚ the Brazilian pianist Clélia Iruzun turns to the waltz in a wide variety of manifestations. There are many waltz albums available‚ and a whole disc of music in 3/4 time‚ often with a repetitive oompahpah lefthand pattern‚ can easily becomes tiresome‚ but the repertoire on this disc is more adventurous and varied than most. Two obligatory Chopin waltzes‚ Liszt’s First Mephisto Waltz‚ and works by Brahms and Weber are juxtaposed with Granados’s Valses poéticos‚ oncepopular pieces by SchulzEvler and Levitzki and sultry miniatures by a trio of Brazilian composers.
The programme is imaginative‚ but Iruzun’s playing would benefit from a greater refinement and technical polish. She is clearly a capable player‚ as one can hear from Chopin’s Grande valse brillante that opens the disc‚ yet even here she can be brusque and aggressive. There is no denying her passion and commitment in Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz‚ although she sometimes lets her excitement run riot and goes through her tone at the big climaxes. Elsewhere the chief problem is her flaky control‚ especially in tricky passagework. SchulzEvler’s virtuoso arrangement of Strauss’s The Beautiful Blue Danube fares worst‚ and I’m afraid she was unwise or illadvised to attempt this (comparison with Jorge Bolet’s barnstorming performance is hardly necessary here). Most successful are the Brazilian works‚ especially her evocative colouring in the delightful Valse de Esquina (‘Street Corner Waltz’) by Francisco Mignone. The close recorded sound doesn’t dampen Iruzun’s overaggression‚ while the overall presentation is far from ideal.