Beatrice Rana is surely a force to be reckoned with.
A force to be reckoned with for sure. See my post here.
Below is another Rana disc worth mentioning. Here she's partnered with more Italians: the orchestra Santa Cecilia.
In some quarters Tchaik 1 may be derided as an overexposed warhorse but to me it's just great music. I purposely don't gorge myself on the piece so whenever I do listen to it it always sounds fresh. And here Rana and crew give this piece exactly that: a fresh take.
There's nary a hint - anywhere - of a blasé attitude toward the piece, nothing which spells "why us Lord??"
. Rather, the concentration and intensity are of the highest order. Obviously everybody involved went in to this project with 100% commitment, including the recording engineers. This is a stunner of a recording.
As far as pianist, for those familiar with Rana's playing there are no surprises here: her big, full sound is complemented by a keen dexterity, overlaying every big phrase with one delicate sub-phrase after another. It's remarkable how few pianists can play with this well-balanced mixture of "big" and "miniature". Of pianists of old the ones that come to mind are Fiorentino and Agustin Anievas, neither of whom recorded much (Anievas far less). (Latterly Cynthia Raim fits the bill but she records even less, still!).
Obviously, though, this is a collaborative affair. Pappano and orchestra walk the tightrope with Rana and hone the give-and-take to the tightest of tolerances. The Santa Cecilia orchestra has a full, rich sound yet it never swallows Rana, not that that would be an easy task anyway with her big sound. But the orchestra, too, is right in league with Rana in that they play "big" yet they don't shut out the finer details, with warmth, color, etc, at the ready. Everybody sounds well rehearsed and energetic with an eagerness which is infectious.
Next up: the Prokofiev.