This disc, featuring the opening concert at the Salzburg festival 2008, has a very familiar feel to it from the point of view of collectors. In it, both Boulez and Barenboim re-visit previous successes in so far as they collaborated together years ago in a very successful coupling of Bartok's piano concertos 1 & 3. Boulez on this recording also repeats an earlier DVD success with the Berlin Philharmonic as regards the Ravel and interestingly, the Firebird duplicates a rival DVD issue from the same year which he recorded with the Paris orchestra.
So how does this new release compare with these rival recordings especially bearing in mind Boulez's tendency not to deviate much from one performance to another as regards interpretation?
Not surprisingly therefore, with the exception of the Bartók, the new performances at this Salzburg Festival are very similar to the alternative performances as regards interpretations. There are considerable variations as regards the recordings though.
The Bartok concerto differs the most, largely because of Barenboim's input. This is a more weighty interpretation and in line with many of Barenboim's recent recordings. The earlier CD recording was made when he was a much younger man and was fleeter and rhythmically more incisive. The new recording makes the concerto appear to be more acerbic and less athletic. The lyrical aspects of the concerto, which are not many, are less obvious here. The accompaniment by Boulez is as attentive as before and overall this is a satisfying performance but rather uncompromising in its toughness. The recording is fuller than the earlier excellent EMI audio-only issue.Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?