American Record Guide, November/December 2002: Santa Barbara LISZT Album review

LISZT: Piano Music
Cloches de Genève; Funérailles; Eroica: Nuages Gris; Bach Fantasy & Fugue: 
Rhapsodie Espagnole; Schubert Song Transcriptions

Zeynep Ucbasaran —Eroica 3092— 72:39

In a recital entirely devoted to Liszt, this young Turkish pianist has produced a noteworthy first record. Her program includes several brilliant pieces, but most of the space is devoted to poetry and romantic meditation. And this type of music best reveals Zeynep Ucbasaran's artistic talents. In the Funérailles, she expresses a sustained romanticism, shaped by a sensitivity that knows its own limits. Such masking of her virtuoso performance would lead to a too restrained interpretation were it not for the subtle contrasts she achieves, for instance in the crescendos, which she skillfully manages right to their peak. By softening the angles, she suggests rather than states. In Nuages Gris, she flirts with silence more than with the avalanche of notes, and in the Fantasy and Fugue on BACH there seems to be a mystical seeking. But she fails to bring out the heroism of the music. It lacks grandeur, sharpness, and a noble structure. The rhythmics of the 'Eroica' Etude are too lazy: they ruin the beat and take away from the energy necessary for the blossoming of this piece. The Schubert song transcriptions are well handled but still need work on the range of levels and on the art of legato in the melody. The left hand should tremble and murmur to the right hand, "Am I too loud?" while thinking of Gerald Moore. The right hand should exalt and sustain the story into the silence that prolongs the final chord.


AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, November/December 2002