Handel Concerto in B flat Op 7 No 1; Concerto in F major Op 4 No 5; Concerto in B flat Op 4 No 5; Tchaikovsky Extracts from Children’s Album (arr Melnikova); Saing-Saёns Extracts from Le Carnaval des Animaux (arr Melnikova). Ekaterina Melnikova at the Great and Choir Organs of Monaco Cathedral; Moscow Philarmonic Orchestra/Dmitry Yablonsky.
Recorded August 2000; TT 60’01’’. BEL AIR MUSIC BAM 2002 (Le Ruscino, 14, Quai Antoineler, Monaco, tel/fax +377 93 30 23 73, email: blair(@)monaco.mc)
Organists’ Review – August 2001.
Choral Compact Disks.
This CD is a delight. Ekaterina Melnikova is a young graduate of the Moscow Conservatoire and the RAM with every prospect of a successful recital career. For her three Handel concerts she has stylish and sensitive partners in an ensemble from the Moscow Philharmonic. The modern two-manual organ by Tamburini captures beautifully the music’s Italianate sparkle. The rest of a fine recording shows off Melnikova’s gifts as both performer and transcriber. She plays ten miniatures from Tchaikovsky’s Children’s Album, including the final four pieces. Although a larger organ is used for these pieces, Meknikova’s delicate touch never deserts her. Her lovely imagination also graces eight extracts from The Carnival of the Animals. The organ seems made for her lion; asses, tortoises, cuckoo, fish and fossils all disport themselves elegantly; the elephant could have you laughing out loud. Perhaps wisely, Melnikova eschews The Swan. I have not heard Peter Planyavsky’s arrangement for organ of Saint-Saёns’ complete zoo, but this suite entertains mightily.