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Mendelssohn: Piano Concertos, Nos. 1 & 2 / Variations sérieuses / Rondo capriccioso

Felix Mendelssohn , Herbert Blomstedt , Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig , Jean-Yves Thibaudet Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Price: $11.69 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 8 Songs, 2001 $7.92  
Audio CD, 2001 $11.69  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No.1 in G minor, Op.25 - 1. Molto allegro con fuocoHerbert Blomstedt 6:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No.1 in G minor, Op.25 - 2. AndanteHerbert Blomstedt 6:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No.1 in G minor, Op.25 - 3. PrestoHerbert Blomstedt 6:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Mendelssohn: Variations sérieuses, Op.54Jean-Yves Thibaudet10:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Mendelssohn: Rondo capriccioso, Op.14Jean-Yves Thibaudet 6:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No.2 in D minor, Op.40 - 1. Allegro appassionatoHerbert Blomstedt 8:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No.2 in D minor, Op.40 - 2. Adagio. Molto sostenutoHerbert Blomstedt 6:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No.2 in D minor, Op.40 - 3. Finale. Presto scherzandoHerbert Blomstedt 5:53$0.99  Buy MP3 


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Product Details

  • Performer: Jean-Yves Thibaudet
  • Orchestra: Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig
  • Conductor: Herbert Blomstedt
  • Composer: Felix Mendelssohn
  • Audio CD (November 13, 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B00005Q673
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,669 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Many of Jean-Yves Thibaudet's recent recordings – not only his pale Rachmaninov, but even his dimly characterized Debussy – have represented him as a technically fluent but interpretatively self-effacing pianist, one who prefers to skate across the music than take a position on what lies beneath the surface. One might have expected the polished veneer of Mendelssohn to encourage more of this faceless graciousness; but in the event, these turn out to be impressively firm, even tough-minded, performances. Not that they're brutal, as Katsaris's unyielding readings of the concertos are: whether in the fluid transition into the second theme of the first movement of the First Concerto, the supple shading of the cantilena in the following Andante or the artful weighting of the cadences in the Variations, Thibaudet offers urgency without sacrificing poise. Nor, for all his attention to the music's larger design, does he disdain the concertos' glitter, as Kalichstein does in his daringly dark and probing readings. Still, it's fair to say that Thibaudet's performances are more desperate than dapper, more thrilling than tender, more spiky than succulent. Note, for instance, how his slightly craggy articulation in the Second Concerto's Adagio keeps the music's sentiment at bay, or how his jabs at the left-hand octave interruptions (for example, at 1'15") inject a sense of threat to the normally placid Andante that introduces the Rondo capriccioso. Those who dip into Mendelssohn for his charm may find it all too stern – but those open to Thibaudet's tart perspective may well rank this among the most persuasive recordings that he has given us. Blomstedt and his orchestra are at one with the pianist and the engineers have captured them with power and immediacy. Jeremy Siepmann's notes only add to the pleasures of the disc. Warmly recommended. Peter J. Rabinowitz -- From International Record Review - subscribe now

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars THE SOUND OF MUSIC June 6, 2007
Format:Audio CD
These concerto recordings date from 1997 and those of the solo pieces from 2001. By these dates we are entitled to expect top-class recorded sound. The sound here is quite `good' in a generalised sense, but not really, to my own ears, the kind of sound that best suits Mendelssohn. It is just a little `tubby' and does no real favours to either the solo playing or the orchestral effect. I would probably not have had much problem with this disc if I did not know certain others, but know them I do. To cap it all, in the concertos and the Rondo Capriccioso, Thibaudet seems almost to go out of his way to court comparisons putting himself at a disadvantage - he has very obviously been listening, as well he might, to Serkin.

Jeremy Siepmann's liner note alludes to Serkin's disc, from the early 60's, of the two concertos. This did much to bring the concertos back into favour and it remains a classic. However other approaches are also possible, and by way of an illuminating counterbalance there is a magnificent set of the two works by the youthful Perahia. The recorded quality on both these discs remains preferable in its distinctness to this modern set, and each pair of performances offers a different solution to a question of interpretation that crops up frequently in Mendelssohn - how to balance the slightly frantic tempo indications he sometimes gives with the general delicacy and even mildness of his style. Serkin goes for out-and-out vivacity in the fast movements, and his lyric cantabile has a burning quality to it. Perahia is a touch more relaxed and urbane. Thibaudet favours the Serkin approach, and some sudden thrusts of his left hand are highly reminiscent.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I HAVE A THEORY... February 24, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I have a theory on Mendelssohn and his music. Both tend to get overlooked. Yet, it is clear that when his music finds itself in interpretive hands that measure up to the composer's genius--greatness shines through.

This is not the first recording of Mendelssohn's Piano Concertos that I have heard. One performance that I truly liked and enjoyed was Stephen Hough's recording on Hyperion. However, even his able hands left me feeling that this was pretty, but less than exceptional music.

Much like the Cho-Liang Lin recording of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto and the Eroica Quartet's recording of his 3rd and 4th String Quartets, this recording finally brought these pieces to full life for me--and smacked me upside the head with their composer's awesome ability. I am thankful for such rude awakenings encountered along the path.

This makes me wonder if I will ever similarly re-encounter Mendelssohn's symphonies or even Elijah or Paulus. I have come to firmly believe that it is a lack of sympathetic perfomance rather than any intrinsic lack of worth in his works that has kept Mendelssohn and his music at a proverbial arm's-length from that warm place in my heart where Bach, Mahler, Vaughan Williams and Arnold dwell.

While I'm waiting, I suggest you check out this recording if you haven't already heard it.

I give it my highest recommendation.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glittering Depths March 13, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If anyone still thinks that Mendelssohn is a superficial and meretricious composer, Thibaudet will convince them otherwise. His supremely intelligent reading of these Concertos and chamber works shows the dark and turbulent depths beneath the glitter. A supple and brilliant virtuoso, he lets his fingers do the walking (as well as the requisite sprinting) through this richly dappled landscape. The Variations Serieuses in particular are a real tour-de-force, and something of a revelation. Is this a definitive performance?
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