Rachel Kolly

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By A. Corleonis for FanFare Mag - AUG 2015

Abetted by Chamorel, Franck’s “serene anxiety” is a barely restrained impetuosity—d’Alba’s élan edged in occasional rasp—an impatience, even, never less than impassioned. Chez Chausson, the Concert lifts into manic overdrive. Robert Maxham, reviewing d’Alba’s go at the Ysaÿe solo sonatas in the Sept/Oct 2010 Fanfare (34:1), concluded, “recommended … almost exclusively to those willing to exchange some slash … for additional poetry, some introverted brooding for straightforward good cheer, and some of the sonatas’ darker hues for pastels.” Curiously, in the intervening years, d’Alba has turned that description inside out: These are volatile, extraverted performances wielding color and slash aplenty as she seizes these works by the hair. Speaking of which, Kolly d’Alba is an impishly attractive siren, with her scarlet mouth and flaunting of an abundant chevelure flamboyante of the richest vermilion—sunlight striking through it would make her head seem on fire—confirming an empurpled aural temperament. Even the tiny Interlude, from the Poème de l’amour et de la mer, turns less poignant than unaccustomedly intense. Nuance often gives way to drive, though in a weekend given to Thibaud/Cortot, Francescatti/Casadesus, and the recent Guzzo/Lovett (Fanfare 38:3) tilts at the Franck, and the Francescatti/Casadesus/Guilet and Oliveira/Koenig/Vista Nuova classics in the Chausson, d’Alba and company’s performance emerged triumphantly to demonstrate that slash and passion are a compelling tradeoff for elegance and polish. The piano is immediately close, and only with the violin’s very slightly recessed entrance do we hear a soupçon of large hall ambience. Balance is superb. Likewise, the Spektral Quartet’s contribution in the Concert swells the ensemble with largely unclotted clarity. Enthusiastically recommended. Adrian Corleonis


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