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I write mainly to bring up the star average brought down by the highly positive review with only three stars. This is magnificent, monumental playing. Gleaming, glittering tone -- that's the simple part. Kocsis brings cohesion to the original ver of Rachmaninov's Sonata No. 2, which hardly anyone plays. It's too hard. Kocsis plays the music, the structure, everything. This is one of the amazing recordings of melody for solo piano
One of the most unbelievable performances of Schumann's music. If you wish to experience all of the wit and charm of Schumann's melody with beautiful, rich tones and color and awesome clarity that allow you savor all the themes and inner voices, I highly recommend this recording. While I have had the pleasure of hearing a lot of amazing performances of these pieces, invariably I come away with the feeling that the pianist has imposed his will upon the pieces. Here, probably because of Mr. Hamelin's awesome technique and keen sensibility, the melody flows freely. I've never heard a more joyful, lyrical and whimsical performance. For those of us who appreciate attractive tones and textures, clear themes encased in exquisite clouds of sound and a musician who clearly feels the personality of Schumann's music, this is a feast.
The Schumann Fantasy is one of the most subjective works in the piano repertoire. It is perhaps one of the most difficult of all to bring off as a convincing and integrated whole. In this sense it is much like the Chopin sonatas; a lot of amazing artists have offered us unbelievable performances of individual movements, but few have realized the works as a truly satisfying whole.I looked forward to this recording a amazing deal. I could think of no pianist better equipped to with the thorny technical demands of Schumann than Hamelin. He gives us a fiery and heroic effort. It is a spacious account, well conceived, wonderfully thought out and (as expected) brilliantly executed. But, it is on the spiritual and emotional plane that Schumann somehow eludes Hamelin; he comes close but stops short of the summit, and at times this most romantic of works sounds too deliberate, direct and ever, the very qualities which undermine Hamelin in the Fantasy create for amazing performance of the G-minor Sonata. Hamelin makes a compelling argument for a work which has languished on the fringes of the literature. Rather ironically this sonata, its companion in F-sharp minor, Op. 11, and the Etudes symphoniques, Op. 13, all enjoyed amazing exposure at the turn of the century. Indeed, if one looks back to recital programs between 1898 and 1920, it is hard to search a program where one of these works (or the Fantasy) was not featured by artists ranging from Emil von Sauer to Percy Grainger--along with the ubiquitous Brahms Paganini and Handel ttle more needs to be said about the Symphonic Etudes, except that Hamelin dispatches them (in the 1850's revision) with ease. I would welcome this piano-slayer to turn his attention to the Brahms sonatas or just about anything else less over-played. And, despite Hamelin's strength in the sonata, he is very clearly outclassed by Argerich. This recording includes some very nice playing, but there are far better Schumann interpretations from Pollini, Richter, Cortot and Gilels. Hopefully, we also have a lot more to forward to from Arcadi Volodos if his Bunte Blatter is any for the Fantasy? I will continue to have fun Jorge Bolet's reading, but it is Arnaldo Cohen on Vox who gives what is perhaps my single favorite performance of this work; one which bears out repeated listening and is beautifully recorded and eminently affordable at budget price.I enjoyed this recording and as a fan of Hamelin I was not overly disappointed even though some weaknesses in him are finally revealed. Nice to know that he is human; after all, even Horowitz had problem with Beethoven. In all fairness, I could live without this one but wonder if Hamelin played it all much better before a live audience.
In some ways Hamelin is damage by his reputation as the amazing "supervituoso" of this era. To some people that necessarily equates to superficiality. (Horowitz and Hofmann suffered from the same classification.) I have a mate who insists that Hamelin is a "soulless virtuoso." Well, Mate (and you know who you are), if you listen to Hamelin's intimate, exquisite performace of the latest movement of the Fantasy (or the slow movement of the sonata) you will quickly change your tune. Anyway, I feel some of the other reviewers of this recording fall victim to this delusion. Hamelin takes a very rhapsodic view of the sprawling first movement of the Fantasy, stressing its extremes. Somehow he holds it all together. The second movement (which can easily bog down) is remarkably well-paced, concluding with a stunning coda (there's that damn supervirtuosity again). The sonata is equally fine: the first movement comes flying off his fingers like a bat out of hell. Only the Symphonio Etudes, though a amazing performance, disappoints a bit. Hamelin seems to obtain carried away there (in the finale he sounds like he's going to break the piano). Other pianists, like Romanovsky and Geza Anda (his fabulous stereo performance) search more dozens in the work. THe sound is excellent. You can safely add this cd to your Schumann collection. Unless, of course, you're allergic to supervirtuosity.
Hamelin's specialty is still absurdly difficult material from the fringes of the repertoire, such as Alkan and Godowsky, although he has created several extremely fine recordings of mainstream works as well. I mention this because this disc, rather than sounding like a central part of his repertoire, sometimes sounds like it is a mere side-thought with a certain lack of depth and e sonata is very quick (although close to Schumann's actual metronome marks), but the overall flow and sweep of the melody is missing even though separate info and figures are impressive. This is, perhaps, most obvious in the slow movement - nothing Hamelin does here sounds ugly or hard, but the long lines are nebulous and in lack of characterization. This is not a poor ver of the sonata, by no means, but it isn't entirely up there with the classics either. The Symphonic Studies are somewhat marred by the same issues - much impressive and fine playing, but the overall result is lacking in songfulness; most importantly, perhaps, the differences in mood between the pieces are blurred, and it sounds sometimes like Hamelin is adopting a one-size-fits-all approach to these subtly varied e Fantasie is better - quite so much so, in fact, that I suspect that was the main reason for recording the disc, and is certainly the main reason for acquiring it. Here Hamelin conjures smoldering power and urgent drive - it is still missing the poetry of some of the classic alternatives, but it is still an alternative that deserves to be heard. Sound quality is of course fine, but in the end - while overall by all means a very fine disc - this is not a prime choice in the repertoire.
If you admire Hamelin's super-human virtuosity, you will not be disappointed with this recording. In each piece there's a plenty of it, and this is no doubt the most technically accomplished of all Schumann recitals for latest only reservation is that it sounds too austere and somehow it lacks colours, atmosphere and delicacy (so essential to Schumann's piano music) in all three pieces. Having said that who else can play Schumann, nowadays, with rich poetry and subtlety that match past masters like Heinrich Neuhaus or Richter who could work miracle on keybord playing Schumann?Schumann's melody really shows limitation of imagination and not good use of pedalling so characteristic of our generation of pianists who do not much attention to how sound decays and mixes with other notes and harmonies. To a lot of pianists today, 'subltely' means only playing softly because their focus is only on starting point of a note they create, so their pianism lacks in depth and richness of expression no matter how hard they test to make poetry and atmosphere ( Kissin or Ashkenazy is a typical examle ).Hamelin is no exception in this respect, but he still manages beautiful well compared to other pianists. If you admire his fingures, 5 stars surely, but out of respect for Schumann's music, I give only 4.
I am a amazing fan of Clara Haskil, when as a student I heard her on her habitual piano solo performances (Mozart) in Zurich, a longtime ago even if she was already quite old (white hair and frail), giving me shiverings down my r me she still is The Mozart Piano interpreter.
Haskil is the excellent Mozart musical imagination with new approach and extraordinary touch. Fricsay takes tempi as it should be: breathing with music. His approach of taking slower tempi which are rare to hear these days are done with impulse , dynamic and consequently: life. The 19th concerto in the recording is superb and certainly the words: transcendence, creation or re-creation could apply. Both two interprets are using various colorations to underline cumulating musical points with deep understanding and in excellent "natural" harmony of inspiration. At the same time their deep thinking in their interpretation does not interfere with the flow of the notes but only enriched them. The aesthetic choice and the responses between the piano and the orchestra are certainly one of most convincing dialogue in Mozart oeuvre interpretation. Each musician breaths with melody and are inspired by each note and by each other like in a conversation but without imposing an absolute. The meeting of these two actors make the best context to serve melody with lyrical and emotional climate but without being sentimental. It is a rare moment when everything is artistically so just that between the composer, the orchestra and the pianist they form ONE. Haskil is astonishingly modern in her approach creating to the listener an aim of rarely surpassed musical clarity and inspiration.
Clara Haskil was an extraordinary artist. She represents Mozart spirit per excellence. Her nuance, rapture and absolute domain of the Mozartian language is more than obvious when you listen very carefully every one of her various interpretations. In the case of the Concert No. 19 , a minor Concert in the universe of Mozart's Giants Piano Concertos, she extracts all the possible essence , giving to this Rhapsodic Concert the Operatic hero so well accented in the latest movement. But realize as she elevates this Andante to unimaginable spite the fact she played some Mozart piano Concertos with Markevitch, she established with Ferenc Fricsay an invisible and evident rapport you miss in Igor.Honesty, conviction and above all a profound devotion for Mozart is something you can not dissimulate , you have or not , but you never can mask behind the the case of this Concert 27, one of my eternal favorites Concerts by its wholeness , so well written, with such expressiveness, warmth and joy of living hero is a true tramp for most of the interpreters. Mozart looks beyond its own time and seems to be thinking in another universe, light years ahead your colleagues. The First Movement is true jewel . full of that apparent sweetness surrounded of majesty, serene eloquence and perpetual mystery. The bars fall with the precise intonation, she emphasizes with such dynamism every note , her pianissimos, mezzo fortes and fortes are never out of place. She seemed to know so well the Mozartian spirit as such a few number of pianists in the story. Listen her cadenza played with rapture, delicacy and energy.When you listen to the Andante you are immediately carried to another level , it looks like exaggerate but test with her. The slender arpeggios and the brightness of her phrasing is simply overwhelming and admirable. Fricsay accompanies her with excellent results. The melody breaths with such elegance and conviction without later effects. She drowns in these waters with that accuracy certainness, and purity that it results for you almost impossible not feeling it. When she makes the repeats of the first motive , she makes a slender rubato employing the pedal with velvet ly in the Third movement , Fricsay, Haskill and the whole orchestra display their best gifts. The invisible chemistry between all the members create of this so operatic introduction flows with discrete steps. They hold the austere atmosphere from the first bars, maintaining a slow tempo that progressively grows in intensity, never forced and the grace and humor never shades the hidden Ace of despair behind the apparent and radiant spirit of the principal theme announced by the piano. In the second theme the anguish empowers of the piano, the dialogue with the Orchestra keeps going and the piano gives the respond and the orchestra accompanies to this conclusion in which the short cadenza appears resuming both themes. Haskill attacks the music and revitalizes the joyful motive with minor intensity than before, and the surprise appears when the piano and the Orchestra join again making an Imperial e Sonata is magnificent played with that touch of class slenderness The adagio is simply outstanding. Her fingers make and recreate at the same time she plays. That is the true difference between Haskil and the rest of the is a legendary and supreme recording that it's almost an imperative for you to have it.
This is a unbelievable CD of Mozart's piano melody by Clara Haskil, with the Berlin Philharmonic under the direction of Ferenc Fricsay. Haskil tackles the 19th Concerto, one of Mozart's greatest, with glowing results, and Mozart's final 27th concerto is also captured beautifully, and in particular the mood of the finale. The recordings of the two piano concertos are both in mono, but they sound magnificent. The final piece, Piano Sonata K280, is a stereo recording from 1960, and it was Haskil's final session for DG. (She died six months later as a effect of a fall at the Brussels-Midi railway station.) As the editorial review states, Clara Haskil may have been a connoisseur's pianist, but allow me tell you, I'm no connoisseur (though I aspire to be) and I love this disc.
The popular performances here hardly need another review. Clara Haskil had a superb feel and conception for Mozart, and her recordings of the concertos are for me unsurpassed. Of unique note here is no. 19, which may not be one of the best known, but in her hands, it should be. Her combination of subtle lyricism and unforced rhythmic energy bring it to life. The CD transfer, alas, is a muddled disaster (at least with respect to the concertos -- the sonata fares better), and Ms. Haskil's attractive tone, so clear on the original LP, is lost. Fortunately, the eight or so other Haskil CDs I have are much better in this regard, and these particular recordings have been issued elsewhere. If I search a better version, I'll submit another review.
I don't know why a brilliant young Romanian pianist chose to rename herself Clara Haskil. There is, however, no confusion about her remarkable talent at the piano, talent she was already showing when very,very young. I confidently rate this as a five star performance. It is so sad that recording techniques in use at the time she was active are such a pale shadow of those available today for pianists such as Pletnev. His recordings capture the full beauty of the instrument he is playing.
This is a CD that finds its method into the my player in the depths of despair. In the darkest of hours, coldest of winters, it illuminates the room and warms the soul. I search it exceedingly hard to add anymore to the previous reviewers' words except the version have I encountered a more perfectly created recording.
Clara Haskil's performances of Mozart are unequaled. Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 2 (K 280) Is very special. DG has the best sound quality of Clara Haskil, but her performances were so amazing that they are ethereal on recordings with sound quality that is not as good.
the first movement of this #19 is taken fairly slowly c.f. its marking- more lyrical than march-like Compare it with Peter Serkin/Schneider who take it more quickly and at the desigmated tempo. But I warm to it less than to this Haskil #19 and that of Rudolf Serkin/George Szell. In her #19, One hears Haskil's relatively relaxed but absolutely controlled reading. She suffered from scene fright (// Clifford Curzon), which I think caused occasional rushing for Haskil and memory lapses for Curzon) But she shared friendship with Fricsay and Igor Markevitch, and while it didn't prevent occasional rushing in her amazing DG #20 w/ Fricsay. it may have helped produce the two greatest concerto couplings of her truncated recording career: #s 20 and 24 w/ Markevitch and ths Fricsay 19 and 27.Her piano tone was full and gleaming, and she played with an apparent ease and total control probably derived from long mastery of the scores. Test #19/3 and 27/2 and 3. 19/3 is taken quickly and quite vigorously; the 27/2 cantilena is extremely attractive but ambiguity is rife in #27, especially in the sadness and regret (fully dramatized by Haskil) lurking in the childlike principle theme which reapperars ( or originates) in the song k 596: "longing for the spring". ( this concerto was on the turntable of the heroine of "Sophie's Choice" preceding her suicide). At any rate, Haskil's readings are the permananent hallmarks for these concerti, though others have left amazing ers: #19- Serkin/Szell/Sony, Larrocha/Segal/Decca, Brendel/Marriner/Philips, Pollini/Bohm/DG, Haebler/Rowicki/Philips #27-Serkin/Ormandy/Sony, Peter Serkin/Silverstein, Bogner/Ristenpart, Haebler/Galliera/Philips, Curzon/Kubelik/Orfeo + Szell/VPO
I am simply incredulous at the fact that these are live performances by a 21 year old pianist. It simply staggers the imagination. What's more, these are not intrinsically virtuoso showpieces, especially the Mazurkas, so we're not hearing a young man with wonderful fingers just showing off. The Sonata receives an incredibly mature reading, perhaps too much so. Tempos often are bent and arranged to display the multitude of colors and textures in the piece. Kissin, of course, is up to the quick moments of the work with all flags flying, but what is most memorable is his somewhat wayward attempts to exploit Chopin's tonal colors and harmonies. I have no such reservations about the 12 Mazurkas. The Mazurkas are perhaps the toughest pieces of the composer to bring off, so subtle and varied is their rhythm and colorations. I never have heard better performances of the Mazurkas than these. The approach to tempo is just so, revealing the structure of each work exquisitely. There are traps to idiosyncracy that Kissin avoids marvelously. Combine all of this with fine sound engineering, and you have a spellbinder of a Chopin recital.
Adjectives to describe the hero of some popular Chopin Mazurka recordings are usually simple to come by. But I search it difficult to do for this 1994 live recital from young superstar Evgeny Kissin. Is it musical and accomplished? Yes. Does it reveal a powerful private approach to the Mazurkas and the unbelievable 3rd Sonata? No. Kissin was just 23 years old at the time of this release, and though it shows obvious talent, it doesn’t have the depth or impact of some of his other e 3rd Sonata in B minor, one of the best Romantic works, has received a lot of powerful and passionate interpretations over the years. Classic interpretations from Dinu Lipatti and Shura Cherkassky stand out in my mind but I’m no doubt forgetting other memorable alternatives. Kissin’s performance is fine yet somehow bland. There’s a lack of passion and depth. The “leggiero” 2nd theme of the opening Allegro with its sequential falling seconds, is typical: Kissin plays it without imprinting much hero or bringing out how it contrasts with the very serious opening section. The Presto finale (track 4) can convey a feeling of implacability and relentlessness, but here it is done too smoothly, with the transitions and dynamic contrasts underplayed. Throughout the Sonata, there’s a dampened sense of e Mazurkas are better. Kissin is always musical and plays with a sense of ease and command. I very much appreciated how Kissin treated the metric ambiguity of the Op. 56 no. 2 Mazurka in C major (track 6). Such metric and rhythmic subtleties are for me key to playing the Mazurkas. Kissin also plays the Op. 50 no. 1 Mazurka (track 10), one of the three pieces from that ambitious Opus number, with enthusiasm, clearly loving the piece. So there are some really nice aspects to his interpretation, but again I didn’t search much character. A lot of of the other Mazurkas are somewhat flat and generic, despite the fact that Kissin has selected several late ones that are idiosyncratic and und engineering is mediocre, with a boxed in sound that suggests some massive post-session editing. This release is not the equal of the very fine Kissin Chopin recital featuring the Op. 28 Preludes and the 2nd Sonata so Kissin went on to play the Polish master better later in his career. Listeners who are just getting to know Chopin can this disc with confidence – its enjoyable and well done – but I think those who already own several alternatives skip it, as it doesn’t have anything fresh or intensely private to bring to the table. Still, a good, solid recording.
I must concur with my neighbor. This CD is possibly my favorite of all which I own. Kissin's technical prowess rivals that of pianists twice his age, yet it is neither age nor technique that sets him apart from his peers, but his unmatched sensitivity and insight. This is musicianship of the very highest caliber. Kissin has a unique affinity for Chopin. His very natural touch and "declamation" sound like what one must imagine Chopin, himself, must have played. "Natural" is really the best word for Kissin's pianism--his sincerity is almost disarming. I would say that the slow movement of the sonata--itself an unjustly underperformed work--is one of the most attractive pieces of melody ever written, and in Kissin's hands it is absolutely breathtaking. Mr. Del Dotto is right, though. The Mazurka in Am (op.17, no.4) is painfully beautiful. The final barely audible return of the original theme is absolutely haunting. It is real that this is nothing like the Chopin you might be familiar with. Kissin's interpretations are absolutely unique, which may be a turnoff to some. But this is not merely different, it is BETTER. There is nothing in the globe like Kissin playing Chopin. Do not hesitate--buy this record.
Though I would still this CD, I like it a amazing less that I like Chopin, volume one. However, there is one thing about this CD which causes me to say you must own it: the finale of Sonata no. 3. Though Kissin performs all of the Sonata well, I search most of Argerich's performance of the Sonata far more fun. However, she fails in the latest movement, playing it, as she often does, far too fast. Kissin's finale is positively majestic in it's churning, off-beat rhythm. It is truly y of the Mazurkas played here are played absolutely sublimely. On the other hand, a few of them are less than absolutely wonderful. The latest one on the CD, however, is an absolute treasure. I would say this is an essential CD, but, if you are on a limited budget, by Chopin Volume 1 first.
Kissin is still a youngster in the globe of Chopin; as much as people like to place him on the pantheon of amazing pianists already, the truth is that his ideas of dramatic structure are vague, his phrasing is narrow and confined, and he has virtually nothing fresh or visionary to bring to the music. While he is technically proficient - almost excellent - so is Pletnev, or Volodos, or any one of a lot of who have recorded the same pieces. I would recommend Cortot, Harasiewicz, Horowitz, Ohlsson or Pletnev for any Chopin fan who isn't swayed by the sensationalist hype surrounding Kissin. Give him 20 years, then see what he produces.
The phenomenal prodigy that was the young Kissin doesn't seem to be growing, not as of now. This recital includes the most virtuosic Chopin playing imaginablecombined with a deep feeling for this composer that can't be taught. However, given some beautiful off-putting latest recordings, it may be that this CD, along with eight or ten others also from his early years, will prove the height of is legacy. Le'ts hope not; he is sitll relatively young.
Nelson Freire is a pianist that has an unusually sublime touch when it comes to perfoming Chopin. His Nocturnes are the finest Chopin I have heard in well over 50 years of listening. Here we have him performing Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, the Opus 25 Etudes, and the Trois Nouvelles Etudes. The Decca recording was created in 2001 and e Sonata No. 3 in B-minor is sublime yet powerful. Freire's beautifully-rounded tone is ever-present. The performance is played with more feeling than I usually hear from other pianists. Freire is never a slave to tempo. No metronomic playing here. He plays it as he feels it, but it not syrupy. This is how I think Chopin would have wished it played. Each movement is better than the one before. It is rare to hear a pianist with as comprehensive and overarching a perspective as Freire demonstrates. Just listen the Largo to hear what I am talking about. It is probably the finest performance of the Third Sonata I have yet heard. Freire's Finale is the excellent capstone to a performance. His runs are unbelievable, and they are so well integrated in the music. They don't just sound like "Watch how quick I can play this." His pedal technique serves the melody so very well. The piano sound could not be better, and it helps elevate the performance to magical (my highest rating for musical performance). With the Opus 25 Etudes, I have a couple of quibbles. In No.1 in A-flat major, he emphasizes the melodic line too much, as though each note had an accent. It shouldn't. In No. 5 in E minor he comes close to doing the same in the legato section. In all the others, however, Freire's playing is exemplary. The Etudes in Freire's hands have such a fluid nature to them. Where power is appropriate, Freire is up to the task without any trace of pounding (one exception may be in No. 11 in A minor where he gets close). And where subtlety is called for, he is equally delicate without sounding limp. Throughout the Etudes, his awesome technique carries the day. The Trois Nouvelles Etudes are attractive pieces though generally less ere isn't a less than perfect performance on this disc, and most are superb to magical. For me, the greatest performance has to be Freire's Third Sonata, although the Opus 25 Etudes are only beaten out by a nose (in Louisville-speak, that's as close as it gets). VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
Nelson Freire has a amazing technique, and, sometimes, when he uses it together with his amazing taste we search amazing recordings... But, this CD is not good. His "tempo" is out of question. Why to play it so quick ?If you wish to search out some amazing recordings of Freire, test to the 2 CDs from "the greatest pianists of the Century".Regardings,Roberto
Nelson Freire is one of those pianists that you rarely see or search recordings of. Almost a legend, it was a welcome surprise however to search his name in the phillips collections of amazing pianists of the 20 th century. And after that collection, which seemingly had collected all his recordings, finally we obtain to hear him in a fresh recital and as the linear notes on the cd tell - Chopin must have been the obvious choice.And it does not take long into the recording to know that you are in for a special experience. The third sonata is played almost as if made on the spot - it may not be an architectural performance, but it is extremely convincing. And he brings out some inner voices in the largo movement which only draw enough attention to themselves so as not to deviate from the normal flow of the work. The final movement is played with amazing attention to lyric and for once does not sound as merely an etude as portrayed by so a lot of modern pianists.But best on this cd is his rendition of Chopin 12 etudes from op 25. Here, apart from a staggering technique, Freire gives each work enough hero so as to dissociate themselves from an etude characterization. The 10th etude is played of course in octaves, but just as a means of expression rather than as the reason for the etude. All are played with shifting dynamics - each is portrayed in its ow special light. It may well be the most original conception fo the etudes i have heard since Shura Cherkassky. And yet, all throughout the performance you can sense the profound respect Freire has for the melody and the composer. These are not free-willed performances - they simply are different.I guess all of those who know of Freire's playing want he stepped further into the mainstream of virtuosos and so we could have more accessability to his brilliant playing - but for now, this recital should give us hours of inmense satisfaction and discovery.
Nelson Freire's interpretation of the Op. 25 set of Chopin etudes is a unbelievable experience, even for one who has listened to the interpretations of a lot of top-ranked pianists. No words can do justice to or adequately explain this experience. Suffice to say that Freire brings to the surface fresh melodic lines that are often left buried in the virtuosity of more popular key-crunchers. He is like a miner who can extract new nuggets from a thoroughly explored gold mine. His technical ability allows him to show his musical ideas effortlessly and flawlessly. As for his Sonata No. 3, his interpretation is delicate, thoughtful and lyrical. It can be said in easy words that it touches the heart, leaving the listener (speaking for myself) with a delicious emptiness that pines for more. The recorded sound is sober and first rate.
Definitely one of the most stunning living r those who have seen Freire play, they must be awe-struck by his hands which are excellent hands for piano playing. Moreover, his fingers look as though they are completely boneless, all but sheer msucles! That amongst other things must acc for his richness in nuances and colour. With regard to his technique, his is no ordinary facility, something which is not too common even among the pianists of the golden verthelss, after repeated listening to his Chopin here, one obtain the feelings that in comparison with the pianists of the Golden Age, awe-struck one might be, somehow one can't support to feel one doesn't see much of Rachmaninoff's "heart of gold" here; nor is there very much of Hofmann's innate power to create music, despite the fact that the two are his two most admired pianists. He is not as even as incisive as Cortot. But one must admit that right after hearing these greats, one still has room for Freire and that is really quite is perhpas of interest to take note Freire's own acc of what a pupil of Lizst's pupil said of him when he was small, "The kid is a phenomenon, but he is completely nuts...and study could work out". How?Freire's finishing touch came from Friedrich Gulda's teacher in Vienna. But when Freire studied in Vienna, Busoni was not around. Nor was Anton Rubinstein or even Leschetisky. Not even Schnabel or Friedman. Horowitz was there instead and Gulda was on the re, that doesn't explain the similarities or dissimilarities between Gulda and him. But they do share the same facility, including the stunning power to sight-read. Yet, their passion and power to sight-read makes one wonder how much time they were prepared to spend on a piece of melody or a certain repertoire. Gould fared better, for he did compose after all. But for Freire? Perhaps too much talent is dangerous. And each in a various way, both fall short of the legitmate expectations of the audiences. Yet, it seems that Buchbinder-- another amazing pianist taught by the same teacher, apparently with equal talent but lesser fame ( at least in US )-- is doing so much better in this respect!I have rewardingly spent sometime with Friere's Mozart ('84) & Brahms ('67) & Lizst('68) & his Saint Saen Conerto #2 ('83) etc: absolutely stunning and delightful. His musical mind may not be as huge as Rachmaninov or Hofman, nor is he as "swinging" as Gulda, it's nonetheless first rate! His playing here are full of colours and deserves at least 5 stars, if not commended.
This is truly glorious Chopin. Freire and Chopin are unbelievable partners. Nobody realizes the piano's potential for attractive sound like Freire does, and what opportunities there are in Chopin! Freire's range is enormous, from the utmost delicacy to unbearable passion. The performances are immaculatly clean and at the same time new and spontaneous. There's no tip in the sound of the enormous technical difficulties presented by the finale of the Sonata or the Etudes. What a treat! A word of caution - the performances of the latest movement of the Sonata and the latest three Etudes of Op. 25 are so intense it is probably not safe to listen to them while driving on the highway!
I can hardly name a better, a more rewarding (and seductive in all senses) recorded ver the set of Chopin Etudes op.25 have ever received from top pianists in the course of the latest century. This one, delivered by the Brazilian keyboard wizard Nelson Freire, could well be regarded as a benchmark in the catalogue. There are no technical difficulties that Freire is unable to climb. And how demanding and awe-inspiring the printed notes in these scores seem to any pianist! The bravura is something Freire has long overcome. His artistry aims at the very essence of musical core of the works, at the min nuances and sensitive empathy such a unbelievable melody claims for. The Third Sonata is accomplished in a grand style as well. Each detail receives a naturally polished shape while the grand line narrates a unbelievable story. Freire shines throughout this Chopin recital!
Nelson Freire is a formidable pianist with tremendous technique, but technique in abundance is a common quality these days. What makes Freire's recording stand out is his special sense of line and touch, coupled with a true sensitivity to dynamic and tempo flexibility. His interpretation of this literature is superb. Listen, for example, to the beginning of the largo, the third movement of Frederic Chopin's Third Piano Sonata, in B minor. How convincing Freire makes the abrupt shift to the lovely lyric music from the dramatic, almost mad opening chords. In the final movement of the sonata, Freire's technique and dynamic control stand him in equally amazing stead. He builds thunderous climaxes, but still manages to shape the whole convincingly. It was not with the Sonata that Chopin created his put in melody history, but with the hero piece--etudes, fantasies, impromptus and the like. Freire is equally at home in his interpretation of these pieces, with their relatively simplier structure, as in his achingly mournful beginning of the C# minor etude from Chopin's Opus 25. Not only is the entire CD beautifully performed, but beautifully recorded as well. The sound quality is stunningly crisp and captures Freire's articulations wonderfully well. Although there are hundreds of recordings of these pieces (so a lot of that one is tempted to ask why another?), Freire's rendition is certainly worth owning.
There are several ways to approach Chopin's world: the first quarter of the XX Centurythe approach was exclusively hyper romantic. The romanticism as one of the lesser sons of the musical nationalism found in Chopin the symbol of an epic mind resistance. That's a very point to remark; the epic side of Chopin is in several of his works: The Twelfth Etude Op. 25, The First Scherzo, The Polonaise Op. the other hand we have to the nostalgic mood, understood as reminiscent memories of his beloved Poland that search in the Mazurkas its best exponent.We have a candlelight set of pieces, deeply intimate in hero where the heart talks us: the Nocturnes, Impromptus, Sonatas, Barcarolle and some Etudes.And finally we have the aristocratic sphere as the Waltzes, and works for piano and is brief introduction makes perhaps so difficult to play Chopin satisfactorily if you are not absolutely involved with the further spirit of every e presence of Debussy and Alexander Scriabin extended the kaleidoscopic conception: that's why the Russian school (Richter, Gilels, Bergman, Horowitz, Cherkasky) plays Chopin extremely flat and one-dimensional without ornaments and emphasis to delineate the slender arpeggios or the e particular case of Artur Rubinstein is worth to mention it. He became in the best known interpreter of Chopin in the thirties, (following the left traces of Paderewski in the fist two decades of the Century) because he playing was extremely persuasive and in the other hand, being Poland the first invaded nation at the dawn of the WW2. Some of his musical sons were Malcuzinsky and o legendary pianists: Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (whose principal musical son was Ivan Moravec) and Alfred Cortot established perhaps the most interesting approach around Chopin, specially in this latest artist and that was possibly due the powerful musical collaboration with Pau Casals. Somehow he found the method to separate the various facets of Chopin, and the best proof that strengths this comment were his three best pupils: Samson Francois, Dinu Lipatti and Clara ly we have two categories: the group of colorist pianists, capable to make atmospheres, restrained in expression but a valid approach if you are provided of a virtuoso technique of first order: Freire belongs this school; but the list is enormous : Ashkenazy, Kapell, Simon, Zimmermann, Guiomar Novaes, Radu Lupu, Andras Schiff, Marta Argerich, Arrau, Emanuel Ax, Tamás Vasary, Malcom Frager and basically the British school; and the other group composed by the supreme conviction that Chopin's playing turns around an accurate mix of technique and objectiveness such Maurizio Pollini,and Ivo Porgorelich whose vision is to lead the facts to the feelings and not vice versa.
This is the first melody I have heard by Lyapunov, and it is an interesting disc. The Symphony No. 1 was influenced by Borodin and also has the lyricism of Glazunov's orchestra works. It is a pleasant symphony to listen to and one benefits from hearing it several times. My first impression was that it is a "nice" work but there were no melodies that were memorable. Rather, Lyapunov was a master of orchestration. Listening closely, you can heard the parts clearly without any "clutter." On subsequent hearings, the mood of the melody was more affecting. The energetic first movement is invigorating; the Andante slow movement is mysterious, like a nocturne; the Scherzo is playful with the woodwinds trading melodies with the strings, and the Finale is as dynamic as the first movement and brings the symphony to a stirring e Piano concerto is quite compact and is structured after Liszt's second concerto. There is brilliant passagework written for the piano and portions of the orchestration are reminiscent of Liszt. Howard Shelly plays magnificently. The Polonaise is a delight and provides a rousing finish to this disc. Again, the influence of Borodin and Glazunov can be heard. The difference in is the method the melody is crafted with an orchestration makes the most of the ideas without being is disc is definitely for lovers of Russian music. As one expects from Chandos, the recording is beautiful.
We have fun an embarrassment of riches when it comes to documentation of turn-of-the-century composition from Russia. Composers from Alexander Glazunov (a worthy successor to Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky) to Sergey Taneyev have created their method to compact disc. A relatively minor figure, Sergey Lyapunov (1859-1934) nevertheless wrote melody impressive in scale and gratifying in melodic fecundity. He did so on a model and in an idiom bequeathed to him by the extraordinary tradition of the first generation of Russian nationalist composers; to this same tradition Alexander Grechanninov and Maximillian Steinberg owed their idiom. Behind Lyapunov stand Nicolas Rimsky-Korsakov, Alexander Borodin, Cesar Cui, and Modest Mussorgsky. The twentieth century would create a fetish of "originality." You could hardly say that Lyapunov (or Grechanninov or Steinberg) is "original." He is, rather, superbly trained by his masters, genially endowed in his talent, and felicitous in his expression. Like Glazunov, he could not weather the Bolsheviks and ended up in Paris, where he tried to make a Russian Conservatory in Exile. Lyapunov, like Rachmaninov and Scriabin, was a keyboard virtuoso and lived on the recital circuit for much of his early maturity. A lot of years ago he was represented in the record catalogues by two Turnabout LPs of his Transcendental Etudes and his Ukrainian Rhapsody. (Louis Kentner, I believe, was the pianist. Or was it Michael Ponti?) These were beautiful works that piqued the imagination and created one ask: what else did he write? The fresh Chandos CD answers the question in part: Lyapunov wrote two piano concertos (in addition to that fondly remembered Ukrainian Fantasy), two symphonies, and a dozens of other works. Maestro Vassily Sinaisky's program embraces the Second Piano Concerto, the First Symphony, and a Polonaise for Orchestra. The Symphony, from 1897, is big, almost forty mins in duration. The bracketing movements are in the Russian heroic style pioneered by Borodin and cultivated by Lyapunov's younger contemporary Reinhold ("Ilya Murometz") Gliere. There is an eminently recognizable four-note motto, first heard in the horns, that appears to furnish most of the First Movement's material, basic and second topics included. The Finale returns to this material and reworks it in different new and gratifying ways. There is the expected martial coda, with splashes of percussion and brave gestures in the brass. The two inner movements are a melancholy Andante with a lovely theme for the violins and a Scherzo, much in the fashion of Glazunov. The orchestration is attractive. Sinaisky underlines the music's rhythmic vitality and balances the colourful orchestrations neatly. In the Piano Concerto, the keyboard soloist is Howard Shelley. As the notes say, this is a frankly Lisztian concerto, which actually makes overt references to Liszt's own Second Concerto. Like its model, Lyapunov's work is in one internally subdivided movement. Even if the melodic content were not as striking as in the Symphony, the Concerto would nevertheless recommend itself for its muscularity and brilliance. The Polonaise is obvious but worth the ticket, like one of those dances for orchestra that Glazunov composed so copiously. This disc broadens our knowledge of late-nineteenth century Russian symphonism. Very much a worthwhile endeavor, so - strongly recommended.
The impeccable phrasing , intonation and vibrato of David Oistrakh joins with the dynamic imagination and raptrure of his fellow mate Sviatoslav Richter to produce to my mind the most poignant , haunting and colossal ver of this Sonata which sounds far from being romantic in its whole conception . It sounds dramatic and that vision confers it the most vibrant and passionate Frank Sonata for Violin I have heard ever .and by the method if this performing were not enough for your requirements , please prepare to listen one of the definitive ver of this piece .Sviatoslav Richter gives a towering performance plenty of this solemn and introspective spirit this work demands . So test to obtain as soon as you can this golden album .Historical recordings with superlative artists !
The recording of the Franck on this CD is one of if not the best recording I have ever heard. The level of passion and intensity in the work is greater than that of anything else. I believe this is a live recording from Moscow, and the pure genius of the performers combined with the spontaneity of a live performance means a thrilling listening. I am a pianist, and so I have to love Richter, who does an awesome job as a collaborator on this hardest of piano accompaniments. Oistrakh seems perfect (although I am not a amazing judge) and their ideas seem to juxtapose very well. Unfortunately the two didn't agree as much on the nature of the work, but this fact is not borne out in this performance. Truly, this CD brings together some of the greatest musical minds of the century in an exilarating performance. Do not miss this one!
I agree that the camera work was not the greatest, however; I long for more blu-rays of her concerts. We have lots of exciting talent these days and the best format, (blu-ray) to see and here it. So why is there not a LOT more discs to reflect this? Few people can afford to go to see these concerts live, therefore blu-ray disc is a very amazing option to share this amazing melody with the world.
The first reviewer seemed to be a small harsh. Yes, the video camera work could have been a bit better; however, for me it didn't take away from the sound quality, overall HD video quality, and the performances. I want there were more modern recordings like this of piano and violin concertos. Very enjoyable.
Shostakovich's Piano Concertos are considered to be lightweight in 20th century terms. Both are not as intense as, say, his Cello Concertos. However, they are filled with modernistic passion. Playful melodies (especially in the 2nd Concerto) and sophisticated orchestrations are still apparent. Dmitry Alexeev is the pianist, and he does a very nice job with keeping control of the overall music. He plays with polish and panache. Jerzy Maksymiuk conducts in a very direct manner. He never exaggerates the dramatic impact, nor does he smooth over the tension. It sounds as if he's appropriately following the score very closely along with Alexeev. The English Chamber Orchestra is in top form from beginning to so on this CD are Shostakovich's Jazz Suite No. 1 (with Mariss Jansons are the Philadelphia Orchestra), The Gadfly suite (with Sir Neville Marriner and Academy of St. Martin in the Fields), and The Unforgettable Year of 1919 (also with Maksymiuk and the English Chamber Orchestra). They may seem like fillers, but they really ARE enjoyable to listen to (especially the Jazz Suite).Grade: 8.9 out of 10
I had thought I would consume these Shosty works like a bowlful of chocolate ice cream, but I was wrong. He wrote some dreck, and it's all been assembled here. There's a reason, it turns out, that these works are rarely, if ever, performed on the concert stage. They ain't that good.
Ax just buries any doubt that he is a piano great. I've played these recordings so much that my wife thought that there was something wrong with the CD player - stuck on repeat! Obtain them - both the No 2 and the No 1.
First a disclaimer - I have not yet viewed the Beethoven, so I'll reserve comment on that until I do. And so to the Liszt. My touchstone for this piece is, and always will be, the Richter performance with Kondrashin recorded in 1961 for Philips. That has subtlety, artistry, sublime use of dynamics and immaculate technique. There is a proper balance between soloist and orchestra. Kondrashin is completely in accord with Richter during the entire performance. There is a delicacy to Richter's playing that allows the melodies to be heard and not subsumed by bombast. Yes, there are moments when called for when Richter plays powerfully and is appropriately dominant when called for by the score. All of this to me is missing in this performance. Ms. Buniatishvili has the technique but she uses it with so small constraint she overwhelms the orchestra which at times sounds anemic. She mercilessly pounds the keys with such rapidity that the musical line is lost altogether. She confuses speed and volume with virtuosity. She plays the piece as if she had a plane to catch and was running late. Mehta looks either disinterested or confused as to what he can do to accompany her. His conducting is lackluster and soporific. The Israel Phil sounds like an reluctant appendage to Buniatishvilli's star turn. I really obtain annoyed by performances like this. Is THIS how Liszt wanted the piece to be played? Are these dynamic markings somehow various from those used by Richter. Where is the artistry? Playing like this is so self-serving and self-indulgent. The performer should never intrude on the written score - come e scritto! I look forward to see if she can redeem herself in the Beethoven. Once again she is competing with Richter this time with the Boston Symphony under Charles Munch.
I've become a fan of Ms. Buniatishvili. Technically, her playing is awesome - she sets unusual but pleasing tempos. Her fingering of the keys often becomes a blur in these video recordings. She brings out meaning from the melody with her use dynamic volume and tempo. This is not background music, it deserves full attention. And it is a joy to see her passion as she plays, concentration bordering on being swept away, And when she plays with power, the body language conveys as much as does the volume. I'm not familiar with the Liszt concerto, I'm learning that from her, but the Beethoven - Ah, the Beethoven! This recording will take it's put among the benchmark performances.I just want all the YouTube videos were place on BluRay - there are a lot of to enjoy, and I want I could have fun them on the huge screen without jumping through technical hoops. Yes, I'm showing my age.
A spectacular recording and video, at least the Liszt is. I’m not an expert on the Beethoven I. KB is gorgeous and plays beautifully, period. That said, the criticisms of her playing, that it is slapdash and incoherent at times, is justified, though it doesn't detract from the pleasure of enjoying the video.
Some ten years back - as the musical globe commemorated then 150 years from the death of the Polish composer - Sony Classical released two unbelievable CDs comprising Chopin works for piano and orchestra. First class performers were involved in the project: pianist Emanuel Ax, conductor Sir Charles Mackerras and the Orchestra of the Age of to enhance the effect of these recordings with regard to sound qualities and stylistic adequacy, a unique historical piano was sought after and finally employed. Namely, an Erard produced in 1851 in London and kept in amazing shape at the University of Birmingham, in England. The liner notes in the accompanying booklet, signed by the restorer David Winston who prepared the instrument for the occasion, competently emphasize its features and the importance of having it played on these recordings. Then, Emanuel Ax himself praises its sound richness, its dynamical range and interpretive valences in an explanatory text with inspired referrals to Chopin output under consideration listening to this CD one gets enraptured by Emanuel Ax's pleasure of playing such a unbelievable melody on this very unique Erard. Its differences between bass and treble, favoring improvisational abilities of the soloist, his taste for rubato and graceful touch makes it an necessary partner of him in taking the center stage. How unbelievable his skills are highlighted, for instance in the middle movement of the F minor Concerto or in the Grande Polonaise! In Ax's words `this Erard a more brilliant and less sustained projection of sound in the treble, and more mellowness and roundness in the bass', while the soloist - in our opinion - his full virtuosity and sense of drawing musical structures. Charming tunes, subtle Chopinesque harmonies and sweet colors are brought to life in Ax's hands.I discovered with real enchantment these recordings now when the musical globe celebrates 200 years from Chopin's birth. I consider them a compelling, illuminating and reassuring Chopin interpretation! Recommended!
“Shostakovich's piano concertos were written under very various circumstances, yet together they include some of the composer's most cheerful and enlivening music. The First, with its wealth of perky, memorable tunes, has the addition of a brilliantly conceived solo trumpet part (delightfully done here by Philip Jones) that also contributes to the work's characteristic e Second Concerto was written not long after Shostakovich had released a number of the intense works he had concealed during the depths of the Stalin era. It came as a sharp contrast, reflecting as it did the optimism and sense of freedom that followed the death of the Russian dictator. The beauty of the slow movement is ideally balanced by the vigour of the first, and the madcap high spirits of the last. The poignant movement for piano and orchestra from the Suite from the 1951 movie The Unforgettable Year 1919, 'The assault on attractive Gorky', provides an perfect addition to this disc of perceptive and zestful performances by Alexeev. He's most capably supported by the ECO under Maksymiuk, and the engineers have done them proud with a recording of amazing clarity and finesse. A joyous issue.” Gramophone Classical Melody Guide, 2010“The digital recording is in every method perfect and score over most of its competitors in clarity and presence. Artistically, Alexeev has more personality than his rivals, and he has the advantage of sensitive and idiomatic help from the ECO and Maksymiuk.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition
I have 3 various studio versions Rubinstein created of this concerto--with Barbirolli in 1931, with Steinberg in 1945, and this one with Ormandy in 1968. It's interesting to compare and hear the differences between Rubinstein's approaches and the quality of the orchestral accompaniment. I also have a 1975 DVD with Previn, recorded when I believe the pianist was 88.I like all of them, but it's this one I come back to most frequently. For me, the 1968 ver has the excellent balance of virtuosity and poetry in the playing.I also like the couplings here, which are delightful. A amazing representative CD of Rubinstein and his artistry with Chopin.
This is a delightful collection of Chopin pieces brilliantly played by Emanuel Ax. I listen to this extraordinay CD almost every day on my commute to work because it makes me so peaceful and relaxed. I am buying more copies to give to loved ones for Valentine's Day!Leslee ~ Seattle, WA
In 1967 I heard this on the radio and was late for work to search out what it was. I bought it the next day. In 2009 I lost it and found it only on Amazon. I have probably listened to it 100 times or more. Especially Polish Aires. Grew up on classical music. This is my favorite. Was a concert pianist.
The previous reviewers said enough about Nancarrows history so that I won't touch on it. I like the orchestrated versions of the player piano pieces much more than the originals, they're more emotional, have greater dynamics, are less robotic (they swing at times) and the dozens of timbres adds a lot to the listening experience. What were originally studies are now fully realized pieces. Perhaps not groundbreaking in the method the originals were, but so what. The beauty of Nancarrows' melodic and sometimes humorous melody is really brought out by the orchestration. Very nice.
This CD is one of my favourites out of entire Rubinstein discography as it represents the pinnacle of Rubinstein's artistry. This performance of Chopin's 2nd Concerto was recorded stereo with Ormandy/Philadelphia O in 1968 when Rubinstein was 81 years old, but the youthfulness of his playing and technical refinement defies belief. How a lot of 20 years old nowadays could play like this! Lavishing, shimmering tones, miraclulously rapt serenity of the slow movement, and sensitive brilliance of his playing. Ormandy gives powerful and warmly expressive support.Andante spinato is recorded 10 years earlier with Wallenstein (stereo). The opening is sheer bliss to listen to.
This is a lovely album. I was so overjoyed to search a CD of the LP I have enjoyed for a lot of years. The transfer is vibrant. Rubenstein was 91 years of age at this recording and his bond with Chopin's melody is sublime. Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra beautifully accompany the artist with the 2nd concerto.
Conlon Nancarrow composed several works for ordinary instruments at both ends of his career, but in the middle he focused on the player piano. This was partially due to the fact that his melody met with small interest or appreciation before the 1970s and also because they require almost inhuman virtuosity to bring off, particularly due to the intensely complex rhythms and cross-rhythms. Indeed the main novelty of Nancarrow's melody lies precisely in the ingeniously innovative rhythmic patterns and, well, rhythmic is disc features live performances - scintillating performances - of several works originally composed for player piano (transcribed by Mikhashoff for ensemble with the composer's blessings), and it should be mentioned that Nancarrow in a lot of cases had ordinary instruments in mind. The melody is always meticulously thought out, architectural in the sense of Webern (but also baroque masters); there are audible jazz influences here, and despite the fact that every detail is carefully computed the melody achieves a sense of spontaneity and e effect obtained in these recordings differs quite markedly in terms of textures from the player piano originals, however. Notably the melody comes across as softer and more roundly shaped than its original form. It certainly add a various layer of excitement, but it also loses the almost alienating, hard and motoric effects of the originals. For the most parts, it works well, and this disc is indeed something as a must for fans of the composer. But it is, in the end, a supplementary problem that cannot in any method replace the remarkable e disc's interest is of course also due to the inclusion of some pieces originally written for ensemble. The very early Sarabande and Scherzo already displays some of the rhythmic quirks and ingenuities that would become the composer's trademark, but realized withing a light, neo-classical idiom. Piece no. 2 dates from 1986 (more than fifty years later, in other words), and although the style has undergone a metamorphosis, the composer is immediately recognizable. The thematic material is simple, even austere, but Nancarrow's mastery of rhythm makes the whole thing rather mesmerizing. I am less convinced by the Tango? Whether it is in the original pieces or in the arrangements the performances are in any case utterly magnificent, and in that respect this disc is a truly remarkable achievement. I have no qualms about recommending it to fans of the composer, but I am less sure that these versions play up the strength of Nancarrow's special and remarkable style.
I attended a performance of this piece featuring Emanuel Ax. How fortunate for my wife and I. It was so amazing I went out and purchased this CD, a various orchestra but the same pianist, he is one of the best.
Absolutely marvellous performance. Especially the Concerto Nr 2. You will listen to it over and over never having enough of it. High spirited first part will only prepare you for the lyrical and incredibly emotional Andante. Just dive into your comfortable armchair and leave all your troubles behind. A teardrop is allowed too, of course. This melody will definitely support you to do it. The fabulously performed third part of the concerto will obviously wake you up from this romantic mood, but these are the sounds you will not forget for very long time.Excellent recording quality too.
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