Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

April 2005

Editor's Choice

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Bartók: The Piano Concertos

Bartók: The Piano Concertos


Bartók:

Piano Concerto No. 1, BB 91, Sz. 83

Krystian Zimerman (piano)

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Piano Concerto No. 2, BB 101, Sz. 95

Leif Ove Andsnes (piano)

Berliner Philharmoniker

Piano Concerto No. 3, BB 127, Sz. 119

Hélène Grimaud (piano)

London Symphony Orchestra


“Boulez is arguably the most influential figure in the world of music today” The Guardian

GGramophone Awards 2005

Winner - Concerto

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2005

DG 20/21 - 4775330

(CD)

$14.00

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Rachmaninov: Trio élégiaque & Shostakovich: Piano Trio No. 2

Rachmaninov: Trio élégiaque & Shostakovich: Piano Trio No. 2


Rachmaninov:

Trio élégiaque No. 2 in D minor, Op. 9

Shostakovich:

Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67


Dmitri Makhtin (violin), Boris Berezovsky (piano) & Alexander Kniazev (cello)

“Rachmaninov's only substantial piano trio remains a relative rarity in the catalogue. It's not hard to see why, for this is more of an Ugly Sister than a Cinderella. True, there are many passages of beauty and poignancy, but overall it's an oddly structured piece, with two substantial movements followed by an almost throwaway finale.
This new reading comes closer than most to concealing the work's flaws. The opening movement is wonderfully realised, a single sweep of grief mingled with love and regret (it was written on the death of Tchaikovsky). And the second couldn't be more musically played. It's a highly piano-centric work, but you never feel that Berezovsky is hogging the limelight, superbly matched as he is by his compatriots. By contrast, the finale, despite its portentous, Brahmsian opening, is over all too soon, as if Rachmaninov simply ran out of steam.
It's tantalising that Rachmaninov left no recording of his own. But in the case of Shostakovich's Second Trio, we've had the composer at the keyboard on two occasions (various labels). Comparison is salutary: most modern interpretations seem sluggish by comparison (though admittedly Shostakovich plays fast and loose with his own tempo indications), particularly in the finale. Berezovsky, Makhtin and Kniazev are even more satisfying than the very good performance from the Wanderer Trio; their take on the following Passacaglia ideally balances profundity with unaffectedness.
Their restraint is much more potent than the tacky exaggerations of Argerich, Kremer and Maisky, in a live performance from 1998.
Only a couple of niggles: the string players apparently ignore the con sordino instruction in the finale, and at one point in the Passacaglia there's a very prominent exhalation from one of them – bothersome enough to make one wonder why it was left in. The recording is warm and convincingly balanced and complements the superb performances.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2005

Warner Classics - 2564619372

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$14.00

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Rodrigo: Piano Music, Volume 1

Rodrigo: Piano Music, Volume 1


Rodrigo:

A l'ombre de Torre Bermaja

Cuatro Piezas

Pastorale

Preludio de añoranza

Berceuse de primavera

Berceuse de Otoño

Cuatro estampas andaluzas

Sonada de adiós 'Hommage à Paul Dukas'

Serenata española

Air de Ballet

Zarabanda lejana

Cinco piezas del siglo XVI

Bagatela


“A first-class collection from the perceptive and sympathetic Artur Pizarro. He opens brilliantly with Rodrigo’s evocation of Albéniz, A l’ombre de Torre Bermeja, here, as elsewhere, bringing out its affinities with the guitar. … Among the simpler items, the nostalgic Preludio, and delicate Pastorale, the rippling Serenata española and charming Air de Ballet are all highly beguiling. In sum, Pizarro captures the varying moods of this music very well. If you have not discovered Rodrigo at the piano I urge you to try this generous collection, vividly recorded and with excellent booklet-notes by Graham Wade: you won’t be disappointed.” Gramophone

“Rodrigo's piano music appears infrequently in the recital room, though excellent two-CD surveys have appeared: Gregory Allen on Bridge and Sara Marianovich on Sony. Now comes a first-class collection from the perceptive and sympathetic Artur Pizarro, who opens brilliantly with Rodrigo's evocation of Albéniz, A l'ombrede Torre Bermeja, here, as elsewhere, bringing out its affinities with the guitar. Cuatro Piezas include a glittering 'Fandango' and a touchingly pensive 'Prayer of the Princess of Castille', while among the Andalusian Pictures (Cuatro Estampasandaluzas), 'Twilight over the Guadalquivir River' makes a reflective contrast with the quirky bravura of the devilish 'Seguidillas'.
Among the simpler items, the nostalgic Preludio, and delicate Pastorale, the rippling Serenataespañola and charming Air de Ballet are all highly beguiling. Pizarro captures the varying moods of this music very well. This generous collection is vividly recorded and with excellent bookletnotes by Graham Wade.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2005

Naxos Spanish Classics - 8557272

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$9.00

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Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

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