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Schumann: Cello Concerto in A minor
live recording, Berlin 1963
As part of its series of historic recordings, the audite label presents another notable jewel. On 5 March 1963 two great virtuosos made their Berlin débuts with orchestra in the same concert: the then 18-year-old cellist Jacqueline du Pré and the 22-year-old pianist Bruno Leonardo Gelber.
Du Pré’s interpretation of the Schumann Cello Concerto seems more vivid and contains greater contrasts even than her later recording of the work. With his reading of Brahms’ First Piano Concerto, Gelber communicates a conception of a large-scale work, shaping the inner contrasts and connections without ever losing sight of the overall coherence. For everyone who is interested in the history of interpretation, these two live documents of a great moment in Berlin’s post-war musical life are a must.
This CD forms part of our series “Legendary Recordings” and bears the stamp “1st Master Release”. This term stands for the exceptional quality of audite’s archive releases which are all, without exception, produced using original tapes from the radio archives. Usually, these are the original analogue tapes with tape speeds of up to 76 cm/s which are of astonishingly high quality, even by today’s standards. In addition, the process of re-mastering – executed with professional expertise and sensitivity – reveals hitherto hidden details of the interpretations, creating a sonic image of superior quality. CD releases produced from private recordings of radio broadcasts or old 78rpm records cannot match this level of sound quality.
Scheduled for release on 3 June 2013. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.
Beethoven & Brahms: Piano Concertos
“These are memorable versions of two of the mainstays of the German classical concerto repertoire. The sound is excellent throughout and audience noise is minimal, in no way, intrusive and we can relish the spontaneity of a live event. Booklet notes are in Japanese only, however, but a profile of the orchestra is given in English.” MusicWeb International, April 2013
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Brahms: Piano Sonata No. 3 & Handel Variations
An epic performance of an epic work. Brahms' third piano sonata, a veiled symphony, according to Schumann, contains all a young man's ambitions and passions, alternating with excessive drama and tenderness.
Bruno-Leonardo Gelber, a pianistic comet from Argentina, displays his prodigious powers and infinite delicacy in this towering performance, one of the finest in the catalogue. A superb Denon recording, by famous engineer Peter Willemoës.
“Towering performances of electrifying virtuosity and sensitivity that deserve a place at Brahms's high table” BBC Music Magazine, September 2011 *****
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Klaus Tennstedt conducts Beethoven & Bruckner
The December 1981 concerts, with works by Beethoven and Bruckner, were predominantly romantic in character. First came Beethoven’s Second (actually first) Piano Concerto in B flat. Tennstedt supplied a "sensitively restrained accompaniment to the Argentinian pianist Bruno Leonardo Gelber" (Klaus Geitel in the Berliner Morgenpost). Gelber had played in a manner quite free from what we associate with the later Beethoven style: "nimble, gentle in tone, and in the Adagio a touching youthful reflectiveness." In the Tagesspiegel Walter Kaempfer praised Gelber’s commitment to this neglected work: "The pianist’s faultless artistry, captivating in its sonorities and delicate articulation, combined ideally well with the orchestra playing in a kind of communication rarely experienced." Gelber reminisced in an interview with the Argentinian journalist Cecilia Scalisi in 2009 : "The Second Concerto is full of contrasts, but is at the same time fresh, light, youthful. It has to be played with gallantry and assurance. Most wonderful of all is the cadenza, charming to listen to, full of energy and character like the mature Beethoven brought back into his own youth – most exciting! I always ask the conductor to give special attention to the contrasts between legato and staccato, for this articulation pervades everything that the music contains. I got to know Tennstedt in Kiel, and we performed together in Berlin. He was one of the finest conductors I have worked with, certainly a great interpreter of Beethoven." In the E flat Romantic Symphony of Bruckner that followed, Tennstedt was from the outset "as if on fire, and the flames soon spread over the whole orchestra" (Walter Kaempfer). Hans-Jörgen von Jena (Volksblatt) commented on the special characteristics of this interpretation: "The brooding Bruckner gave way to Bruckner the melodist. The Philharmonic were able to move freely and calmly on the high plateau that they have established from the beginning for all their Bruckner performances. Brass choruses and shimmering strings seemed to be well within the limits of their powers; the sound was beautiful throughout, richly expressive and lucid. Expansive phrases, broad crescendos, a firm control of formal features, all of this seemed quite natural. There was no hint of that other Bruckner – the massively structured, archaic character – than can appear in this symphony as in others."
from the booklet note © Helge Grünewald, 2010
“The real test of any performance of Bruckner's Fourth Symphony is the finale, which Tennstedt handles with special understanding: generously paced, shrewdly detailed and comprehensively of a piece.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2011
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