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Brahms - Piano Concerto No. 2
Joaquín Achúcarro (piano)
This recording commemorates the 50th anniversary of Joaquín Achúcarro’s debut with the London Symphony Orchestra after winning the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic International Competition in 1959. Recorded at Jerwood Hall, St Luke’s, London, with Britain’s eminent conductor Colin Davis at the helm, Achúcarro delivers a consummate performance that brilliantly expresses his delicate and passionate style. Extra features include a substantial documentary about Achúcarro’s career and performances of solo piano pieces by Brahms, Chopin, Scriabin and Albéniz filmed in the beautiful setting of the Prado museum, Madrid.
“Achúcarro’s approach is unorthodox in today’s stick-to-theletter-of-the-score, mechanically perfect musical world. His rubati seem excessive to some; to others, like a throwback to a Golden Age. For all of his reverence for the great composers whose music he plays, he maintains a healthy sense of their humanity as well. “Our duty is first of all to understand what composer does and wants, and then to try to deliver it the best we can, but also to serve the music,” he says. “And maybe sometimes the composer is wrong.” He adds, “People say you must follow the text. But if you follow the text, perhaps the music is not totally served.” … And he views what he does as a performer as an act of creation in its own right.” The Washington Post
Joaquín Achúcarro: 50 years on
Documentary including interviews with Plácido Domingo, Simon Rattle and Zubin Mehta.
Running time 131 mins
Region code All regions
Video codec: AVC/MPEG-4
Disc size: BD50
Picture format 1080i High Definition / 16:9
Sound format 2.0 & 5.1 PCM
Menu language EN
“all three sections of both versions benefit from the masterly hand of director Robin Lough who, unlike many of his peers, knows how to let the music speak for itself without the need for frantic cuts and cross-fades...The short recital filmed in the Prado captures Achúcarro at his intimate best” Gramophone Magazine, June 2010
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Falla: Noches en los jardines de Espana
Joaquín Achúcarro (piano)
The internationally renowned pianist Joaquín Achúcarro has been described as ‘the consummate artist’ and ‘the leading pianist from Spain’; he has won plaudits and prizes around the world.
In 2000 he was named ‘Artist for Peace’ by UNESCO in recognition of his extraordinary artistic achievements.
This DVD presents an evocative recital of Spanish-inspired music, given by Achúcarro in Madrid, and a triumphant performance of Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle, recorded in Berlin.
Including a note by Joaquín Achúcarro written for this release.
“I have only heard this sound from Rubinstein” Zubin Mehta
“There is something special with Achucarro. Very few musicians can extract this kind of sound from the piano” Sir Simon Rattle
Sounds formats: PCM 2.0, DTS-HD Master Audio Surround
Region code: 0
Booklet notes: English, German, French
Running time: 27 mins (Berlin) + 75 mins (Madrid)
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Lang Lang: Live In Vienna
Blu-ray release includes 25 mins of 3D footage of performances of the repertoire from the album.
Lang Lang’s first recording for Sony, the start of a new exclusive long-term partnership - recorded live at Vienna’s prestigious Musikverein earlier in 2010.
Heralded as the “hottest artist on the classical music planet” by the New York Times, 28- year-old Lang Lang began playing the piano at the age of 3, gave his first public recital aged 5, and won first prize at the Tchaikovsky International Young Musicians Competition at the age of 13. Since then he has become a global phenomenon, playing sold out recitals and concerts in every major city in the world.
Testimony to his success, Lang Lang recently appeared in the 2009 Time 100 – Time Magazine's annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2008, over 5 billion people viewed Lang Lang’s performance in Beijing’s opening ceremony for the Olympic Games, and he has inspired over 40 million Chinese children to take up the piano – a phenomenon coined by The Today Show as "the Lang Lang effect." More recently, Lang Lang was chosen as an official worldwide ambassador to the 2010 Shanghai Expo. He has performed at prestigious events including at The White House and The Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony.
Continuing his presence on the world stage, Lang Lang was featured at the 2008 Grammy Awards and the 2009 Classical Brit Awards, pairing up with jazz great, Herbie Hancock, for an astounding performance that was broadcast live to 45 million viewers worldwide.
Lang Lang has made it his mission to share classical music around the world, with an emphasis on training children and young musicians through education, outreach programs, master classes and financial support. He launched the Lang Lang International Music Foundation in New York with the support of UNICEF. In May 2009, Lang Lang and his three chosen young scholars from the foundation performed together on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
In addition to his numerous commitments, Lang Lang holds the title of the first Ambassador of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. His role in this groundbreaking project created by YouTube and Google reflects his devotion to building new audiences and bringing classical music to young people worldwide. A brand in himself, Lang Lang has become the face of numerous global campaigns. Steinway has created five versions of the “Lang Lang Steinway” designed for early music education - the first time in Steinway’s 150-year history that an artist’s name has been used to produce pianos. He is a global brand ambassador for the entire Sony Corporation, including its Electronics arm, with whom he anticipates achieving innovative and creative possibilities for the future. Lang Lang also holds brand partnerships with Audi Automobiles and Aegon's worldwide financial services, amongst others.Lang Lang’s performance clothes are provided by Versace.
In February 2010, Lang Lang joined Sony Music Entertainment as an exclusive recording artist.
“The first movement of his Appassionata is gracefully conceived, and he brings a properly Beethovenian authority to the variations of the slow movement, before seguing gracefully into whirlwind finale...But the chief appeal of this CD lies in the fact that it's pulsatingly live...Lang Lang dares, and wins” BBC Music Magazine, September 2010 ****
“It's hard to imagine a programme to better display the pianist's prodigious range.” The Independent, 20th August 2010 ****
“...let me say at once that the youthful excess and rampant exhibitionism of much of Lang Lang's earliest work is today transformed into playing which for the greater part is as stylish and perceptive as it is brilliant...Clearly everyone is having a ball and, make no mistake, doubting Thomases should take time off to listen to a major talent.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2010
“He is intense and focused in the "Appassionata", sharp and lively in Beethoven's early C major sonata. His Albéniz is thrillingly colourful, his Prokofiev vivid and pungent...the technical command is peerless and the emotional warmth envelops us. He is surely the Horowitz of our generation” The Observer, 12th September 2010
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