Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

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Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducts Mendelssohn & Schumann

Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducts Mendelssohn & Schumann


Mendelssohn:

Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 'Scottish'

Hebrides Overture, Op. 26

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Maria João Pires (piano)


LSO Live presents the first in a series exploring the complete symphonies of Felix Mendelssohn under the baton of Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Also featured on this release is the eminent Portuguese pianist, Maria João Pires, in the inaugural concerto recording on the label.

Inspired by his travels to the British Isles and full of the influence of the rolling Scottish landscape, both Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 ‘Scottish’ and his Hebrides Overture (‘Fingal’s Cave’) are amongst the composer’s most popular and celebrated works.

Sir John Eliot Gardiner writes of this coupling: "Even if they spoke with different accents these genial Romantics were united in their ambitious fervour for ‘abstract’ music to be acknowledged as having the same expressive force as poetry, drama or the literary novel. The three works on this album exemplify the endeavour and range of invention of two of them, friends and colleagues in Leipzig."

This recording will be released in both SACD and pure audio Blu-ray formats, allowing both the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir John Eliot’s performance to be seen and heard to full effect.

DSD recording, live at the Barbican, 21st January 2014

Video/ audio 2.0 Stereo and multi-channel (5.0)

Audio + bonus video material/digital (Blu-ray video of the entire concert plus Pires's encore).

Concert Reviews:

"This was the London Symphony Orchestra; but, with violins and violas standing and with a new suppleness and brilliance in their voice, they sounded Romantic and revolutionary. There was a brisk stepping-out, a bracing scent of the tangle o’ the isles, and tiny, drawn-back moments to glimpse the Romantic sublime." The Times****

"The opening of the Intermezzo was supremely graceful with Pires and the LSO’s cellos creating a chamber music intimacy in the ensuing dialogue. The cultivated way in which Pires and the LSO took up and finished phrases was masterful. The finale was a whirling dance with Pires really revving up the momentum while at the same time bringing out the fanciful elements in the score. The coda was played with gusto, bringing the piece to a sparkling conclusion." Seen and Heard

“As you would expect from the LSO brass section, the trumpets soar and blaze when appropriate, but it’s really the woodwind who excel [in The Hebrides]...Pires seems to focus on lyricism over drama, and that’s no bad thing [in the concerto]...It’s in [the Scottish] symphony that Gardiner’s credentials as a proponent of so-called historically-informed performance are most evident” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, 20th October 2014

“a reading formed by life experience…Pires is supported by conductor and orchestra magnificently...I’ve never heard so much of the orchestral colour and detail in any other Schumann recording … My anticipation that this might be a special recording has been met.” MusicWeb International, 30th October 2014

“one of the finest performances of Schumann's Piano Concerto that I have ever heard...[Pires's] performance is as pristine and common-sensical as it is soulful and beguilingly expressive. The whole thing is absolutely wonderful, and an education.” Herald Scotland, 9th November 2014

“Gardiner's Hebrides Overture must be one of the most thrilling ever recorded, adding volleys of sea-spray to well-navigated execution...Ebb and flow is of the essence in this proto-Wagnerian masterpiece and a subtle use of vibrato...Gardiner makes a beeline for individual instrumental details, keeping important woodwind lines to the fore.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2015

“this ‘Scottish’ symphony is fresh, vital and even thrilling (a word that doesn’t always come up in discussions of Mendelssohn) as any I’ve ever heard…at its best it is so good that it can be recommended without hesitation.” International Record Review, January 2015

“[Pires] has the enviable ability to make everything sound fresh but natural, and her tone is enchanting...The definition on [the Blu-ray] is superb and the camera work actually helps the viewer understand the music.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2015 ***/*****

Presto Disc of the Week

20th October 2014

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

Presto Favourites

Recommended Recording

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2015

LSO Live - LSO0765

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Kempff plays Schumann

Kempff plays Schumann


Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

London Symphony Orchestra, Josef Krips

Fantasie in C major, Op. 17

Papillons, Op. 2

Études symphoniques, Op. 13

Kreisleriana, Op. 16

Arabeske in C major, Op. 18


Australian Eloquence Wilhelm Kempff Edition - ELQ4806636

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Byron Janis plays Liszt, Rachmaninov & Schumann

Byron Janis plays Liszt, Rachmaninov & Schumann


Liszt:

Totentanz, S126 for piano & orchestra

Rachmaninov:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 1

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54


Byron Janis began his extraordinary career as Horowitz’s star pupil.

Sony Originals - 88765456712

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Schumann & Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos

Schumann & Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos


Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, Stanislav Wislocki

Tchaikovsky:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23

Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan


“These are performances full of vibrant character and the stuff of which musical discoveries are made likewise for those new to repertoire and for older and even jaded listeners.” MusicWeb International, March 2013

Alto - ALC1200

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Grieg & Schumann: Piano Concertos

Grieg & Schumann: Piano Concertos


Grieg:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54


Warner Classics National Gallery Collection - 7051192

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Schumann: Piano Concerto

Schumann: Piano Concerto


Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Introduction & Allegro appassionato in G major, Op. 92

Introduction and Allegro Op. 134


Angela Hewitt’s recordings of Schumann’s solo piano works for Hyperion have been described as ‘revelatory … something to cherish’ (Gramophone) and ‘unreservedly superb’ (The Guardian). Now she turns her attention to the works for piano and orchestra in a magnificent release which includes the beloved Piano Concerto in A minor—one of the most treasured concertos in the repertoire—and two other works also written for Clara Schumann.

Hewitt’s trademark clarity of line, and her technical control which never limits the expression of passion, are clearly in evidence. She is supported by the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the brilliant Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu. A fascinating commentary by Hewitt herself completes this album which is sure to delight her ever-increasing legion of fans.

“The most striking thing about this recording on first encounter is not the elegant, fluent playing of Angela Hewitt (that's a given in all her performances) but the tempo of the closing allegro vivace...Hewitt and Hannu Lintu choose a surprisingly stately pace, reflecting Schumann's actual metronome marking...Her perfect handling of the breathtakingly lovely opening of the Introduction and Allegro appassionato would melt the hardest of hearts.” The Observer, 1st July 2012

“The sense of joy that infallibly emanates from Angela Hewitt’s piano playing is fully evident here...Hewitt understands the character and perspective of this music. There is no element of grandstanding in the Concerto. Nothing in the interpretation is gratuitously flamboyant. Rather, the piano enjoys intimate exchanges with the orchestra...Hewitt is [Clara's] natural heir.” The Telegraph, 6th July 2012

“Hewitt's touch, light and graceful, allows the work to unfold rather than gallop. The second movement is perhaps less convincing...but there's so much beauty, subtlety and originality in Hewitt's first movement that the ear longs for commensurate poeticism...Even if I didn't wholly buy into the Concerto's Intermezzo, this recording should be applauded for its passion, detail, courage and commitment.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2012 ****

“Her approach seeks the flow in the music, obtaining a legato in those accompanying moments where the orchestra takes the lead and adding texture rather than making musical points...This is the kind of recording which may surprise a little, but is also one which will gain your affection and provide increasing interest and insight with each airing.” MusicWeb International, August 2012

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Hyperion - CDA67885

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Romantic Piano Concertos

Romantic Piano Concertos


Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Reiner

Tchaikovsky:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23

RCA Symphony Orchestra, Kyrill Kondrashin


Van Cliburn (piano)

Van Cliburn's extraordinary rise to fame in the late fifties was in no small part due to his performance of the Tchaikovsky concerto featured on this disc. This Regis release is a valuable document of the birth of a pianistic legend. The Schumann coupling shows a more introspective side to his musicianship.

Regis - RRC1391

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Schumann & Mozart: Sophie Pacini

Schumann & Mozart: Sophie Pacini


Mozart:

Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat major, K271 "Jeunehomme"

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54


Sophie Pacini (piano)

Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Radoslaw Szulc

In 2011 Pacini won the Prix Marguerite Dütschler of the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad. Born in Munich in 1991, her father an Italian professor of literature and her mother a German physician, Sophie Pacini began to play the piano comparatively late, at the age of six. However, her outstanding talent was recognised quickly: she made her debut with Haydn’s D major Piano Concerto in 2000. In 2002, aged 11, she became a student of Karl-Heinz Kämmerling at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. In 2004 she was admitted to the Mozarteum’s institute for highly talented musicians, where she studied not only the piano but also improvisation, aural theory, harmonics, composition and conducting. Since 2007 she has been studying in Pavel Gililov’s master class.

In 2010 Pacini auditioned for Martha Argerich and, after the Liszt Sonata, Argerich approached her, kissed her on the cheek and said: ‘You are very good. Do you know that?’ Since then their friendship has grown. Argerich recommended Sophie to Fou T’song and invited her to take part in the Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano. They arrange to meet whenever possible. Martha Argerich and Sophie Pacini worked together on the preparation for this, her debut recording of an Argerich favourite – the Schumann concerto, and also on Mozart’s first great piano concerto, known as ‘Jeunehomme’. Named after a French keyboard player who was in Salzburg over the winter of 1776–7, nothing is known of her today, except that the 21-year-old Mozart wrote this remarkable concerto for her.

“This debut reveals a sympathetic tone and an independent spirit which particularly suit the Schumann. Tempos are well-judged, with room for Pacini to explore the work's lyrical meditations. Certain issues between pianist and orchestra could have worked better...But Pacini is promising indeed, and one to watch for the future.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2012 ***

“Pacini (b1991) is a protegee of Martha Argerich and it shows...There's a similar air of in-the-moment rhapsodising and no fear of giving the performance a boot up the backside if she catches her accompanists napping...Pacini clearly has something to say in this music and the technique to do so. What is lacking, perhaps, is ability to take the long view and tie up all the works' episodes into a unified whole.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2012

Onyx - ONYX4088

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Schumann & Grieg: Piano Concertos

Schumann & Grieg: Piano Concertos


Grieg:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54


Sony Classical Masters - 88697721002

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Schumann - Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2

Schumann - Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2


Schumann:

Symphony No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 38 'Spring'

Symphony No. 2 in C major, Op. 61

Adagio and Allegro in A flat major, Op. 70

Edmund Leloir (horn)

Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129

Maurice Gendron (cello)

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Dinu Lipatti (piano)

Manfred Overture, Op. 115


The Decca Ansermet Legacy on Eloquence continues to garner the highest plaudits from publications all around the world and the latest batch presents the maestro’s recordings of four key Austro-German Romantics: Schubert, Weber, Mendelssohn and Schumann. This 2-CD set brings together all of Ansermet’s Schumann recordings for Decca.

Ansermet’s Schumann is generally unforced and relaxed, with all but the Piano and Cello Concertos making their first international appearance on CD. In the Piano Concerto – a live radio broadcast recording with Lipatti, newly remastered for this release – Lipatti seems to drive the orchestra to new levels of excitement.

As with many of the (relatively few) concertante works Ansermet recorded, the soloists are drawn from the orchestra – as is the case with Edmund Leloir, principal horn of the OSR from 1952-77, for the Adagio and Allegro, originally for horn and piano and, for this recording, orchestrated by Ansermet. Maurice Gendron, soloist in the Cello Concerto, was one of Jacqueline du Pré’s teachers. The Schumann concerto was one of his specialties; he frequently played it when he was invited to appear with orchestras.

“Gendron's performance is instinct with poetry, and, with Ansermet, he achieves a lucidity of expression which is very taking … artistic integrity and understanding which is utterly remarkable” Gramophone

[Schumann's' Symphony No 1] “…a wonderfully light and graceful performance” Gramophone

[Lipatti's Schumann] “…a deeply moving performance. Lipatti plays con amore, almost as if aware the opportunity might never come again” Gramophone

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