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A Russian Night
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I have no objection at all to the Tchaikovsky. It is wonderfully interpreted and played. That it is an early piece is not to its discredit. In it you can hear the later Romeo and Juliet, and the Manfred Symphony themes for example. It is as well played as one can imagine and Tchaikovsky lovers will be happy to have this recording of it. The Rachmaninoff is brilliant and the Stravinsky very good.
I felt my appraisal justified when I saw Pierre Boulez in the audience clapping. Maurizio Pollini is also in the audience if you look closely and he is smiling and applauding too. I find that recommendation enough. I am sorry other reviewers did not think as highly of this concert, but along with Boulez and Pollini, I thought this was a wonderfully performed concert by one of the great orchestras and masters of our time. The audience appeared to think so too.
The concert opens with Tchaikovsky's Tempest which was a very popular work during Tchaikovsky's lifetime. Since then it has become overshadowed by similar works such as the fantasy overtures Romeo & Juliet, Francesca da Rimini and, to a lesser extent, Hamlet. The Tempest, however, is also a very fine work and well worth getting to know. The opening horn calls over rolled bass drum can be a spine-tingling moment and are a foretaste of many such telling touches of orchestration to be found throughout the piece. All of these are fully explored in this performance which is superior to the earlier one which Abbado conducted in Sweden, fine though that was.
The Rachmaninov Piano Concerto 2 follows and Helene Grimaud makes her debut performance with Abbado with this work which she has recently included in her regular repertoire after a prolonged absence. This used to be a favourite work for her but she felt that there was a need to give it a break to refresh herself. This she does admirably in the performance, making light of the various technical and musical challenges.
The concert concludes with The Firebird suite heard here in its full orchestration rather than the version for reduced orchestra.Read more ›
The concert concludes with Stravinsky's Firebird Suite; the best bits of the complete ballet. This would be a greater crowd pleaser than the longer work, but how much better to have dumped the Tchaikovsky and play the complete Firebird. In any event, Abbado directs a good if not brilliant rendition of the piece.
The sound on this DVD does not have the clarity and accuracy that is normally encountered on other Abbado Lucerne recordings; particularly the magnificent Mahler performances. It is well filmed. Recommended with reservations.
As a matter of fact, her tone, exquisite and expressive prasing and unequaled fingering have become her one of the top artists around the world. Her beauty and formidable sense of commitment impressed this piece so many times listened, of unusual poetry and intense lyricism.
Abbado conducted the Tempest op. 18 of restrained rational coldness. The dramatic intensity this Op. demands it was overlooked by unknown reasons. (Try with Svetlanov, for instance and yopu will notice the difference from the first bars).
Stravinsky's Firebird received an honest and brilliant approach. The Festival Lucerna Orchestra achieves briliant moments (specially in metals and wooods sections).
A concert worthy to take part of your invaluable collection.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am a Helen Grimaud fan through and through because of her touch and interpretation. This dvd showcases her ability to musically communicate very nicely.Published 3 months ago by paul curtis
Helene Grimaud is one of the great interpreters of romantic music. I first heard her playing the Rachmaninov 2nd on a car radio. Read morePublished 10 months ago by James Biddlecome