Chants nostalgiques – Piano works by Godowsky, Kreisler/Rachmaninov, Schubert/Liszt, Silvestri and Tárrega

Reviewed on Tue 29 Jul, 2014

Luiza Borac’s latest recording for Avie is an innovative programme of songs with and without words. Following her surveys of Enescu and Lipatti, composer-pianist-conductor Constantin Silvestri hits the spotlight with Chants nostalgiques (1944), three short piano works that are melancholic meditations which receive innately sensitive interpretations from Borac. Insightful touch and unassuming understanding is also lent to Borac’s discreet augmentation of accompaniments for a varied group of German and Romanian songs recorded by tenor Ion Buzea in 1964. These songs are an artful and unique collaboration of sorts thanks to recording technology, but the results are enchanting. The nostalgic mood into this absorbing programme is effortlessly established and maintained by transcriptions and arrangements of Kreisler/Rachmaninov, Schubert/Liszt and Tárrega/Borac. Throughout it all Luiza Borac maintains a feeling for vocalise and proves more than able to delve into the emotional intensity of the music, combining the transcribers’ excesses of fancy alongside the intention of the original into an arresting union. Excellent sound quality with useful booklet notes – urgently recommended.
–Evan Dickerson