This is Adam Laloum's debut performance at the Verbier Festival, the recital being recorded in 2010 just one year after his winning of the 2009 Clara Haskil competition.
Laloum's playing can reasonably be described as expressively lyrical and that description would fit all the music that he plays in this recital. His technique is impressively faultless and his familiarity with the keyboard enables him to concentrate on the performance with scarcely a single glance downwards at the keys or his fingers.
The recital starts with Schumann's Davidbundlertanz and immediately one is aware that the interpretation is in safe hands with every nuance depicting the characters and contrasts between Florestan and Eusebius brought effortlessly to our attention. The other main piece in the recital is Schubert's 18th Sonata, which again, is given a gently expressive reading. Between these two items are a couple of Debussy's Preludes where `General Lavine-eccentric' is given with a nice sense of quiet humour. Brahms' Intermezzo Op. 117/2 ends the recital and its air of wistfulness perfectly suits Laloum's style.
It is possible to imagine a more incisive or dramatically driven approach to both the Schumann and especially the Schubert and, sticking with his own generation, names such as Yundi Li and Yuja Wang spring readily to mind. However, in its own gentle way, this is very fine playing indeed.
The recording offers clear and crisp imaging which captures the mood perfectly. The sound is presented in good quality stereo only which is typical of many recent recordings from Verbier.
Normally I would drop a star for this failure to provide a surround option, but such is the quality of the music making that, in this case, I feel that the full 5 stars should be awarded. Unless you have a preference for a more dramatic approach to these works I would suggest that this recital should give a lot of pleasure and satisfaction to a lot of people.