Profile for Will Saar > Reviews


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Customer Reviews: 16
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Helpful Votes: 151

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Will Saar RSS Feed (ramapo valley, NJ)

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Germany (Classical journey, Vol. 9, Beautiful World of Classical Music)
Germany (Classical journey, Vol. 9, Beautiful World of Classical Music)
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Price: $4.00
58 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars for the elise, please!, September 9, 2002
the other items in this collection are passable,
a few not so much yet
the recording of 'fur elise' is my favorite ever. the small
bridge passage, usually taken at a slightly increased tempo is always pretty but never really takes off (most of you may have experienced perahia's somniferous take, from immortal beloved, etc.) even in such hands as those of artur schnabel and wilhelm kempff.
here, the unsentimental, perfect trill of the beginning goves way to wonder after wonder. the bridge of which i've spoken, still makes me laugh out loud, for joy.
stars, only for the averaging out offered by the inclusion this jewel.

Sviatoslav Richter Plays Chopin, Debussy, Beethoven
Sviatoslav Richter Plays Chopin, Debussy, Beethoven
9 used & new from $79.98

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars yet another richter-freak-making device, May 28, 2002
if you search for 'richter' and see the cornucopia of >= 4 stars that appear, it gives the uninitiated an inkling. if you're a new-to-richter person: this is a wonderful introduction. the barcarolle is the only interpretation i've come across that can stand with sofronitsky's- not even horowitz's 'phantasmagoria' or argerich's flights of fancy , or rubinstein, others, none approach the completeness of this captured moment. The lilting beginning you get from the sample (above) is misleading, seems earthbound. it's a ruse that takes you in and through until the end, when you realize you were really just sitting there listening to music all the while, as the (belated, shocked)applause erupts. and the rest of the cd? my best friend recently found they were having a baby, and i'm in another country-so i sent my contribution to the new life's musical background.
i sent this cd taped (minus the scherzo, where richter shows some too-sharp claws)out of my whole 'classical' collection-now at some 840 discs.

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 23 / Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 1
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 23 / Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 1
11 used & new from $7.95

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars go out and get it!, March 6, 2002
too bad you can't listen (yet?) to samples of these recordings.
Czech phil. on the Tchaikovsky, Prague phil. on the Prokofiev. If you seem to be pleased somewhat with Argerich's scampering magically about on the Prokofiev one, you've only heard on black and white/2D. Richter fill in the rest, on both accounts of these much abused warhorses. the sound quality is slightly recessed for the orchestra on the tchaik., and impeccable (for analog) on the Prok.

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4; Tragic Overture
Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4; Tragic Overture
5 used & new from $9.99

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sanderling is a conductor to watch, as few like him exist., February 28, 2002
I have the first three CD's, symphonies 1-3 and the overture. I got them at the bargain bin (for 20 bucks!) after deciding upon Sanderling's Mahler 6th as the best digital version available (analog I go with Barbirolli's rare live New Philharmonia version, recorded in London) and the missing 4th Cd (anybody want a free Brahms symphony# 3?) was the reason for the bin inclusion.
That said, what I do know of this recording is sufficient to recommend it most highly, even as a first buy. Thomas Sanderling keeps a living pulse to the scores, throughout- I never got the impression that it was coasting along, or just beating time. I got a sense that a deep understanding of what the symphony can say was being passed on, like a shared experience. More clearly, Sanderling illuminates the interacting voices, always with a fresh but fitting perspective. Even sick and tired of Brahms people will find new views expressed in these performances (at least symph. 1-3). The versions I compared with were the Music and Arts Furtwangler box, Mackerras with the Scottish Chamber, Klemperer's studio set and Kurt Sanderling's. Comparison in music may be misleading but the spirit (not literal treatment) I found this most akin to was Furtwangler's.
RS has a penchant for impeccable recording quality, beautiful tight low frequencies and separation that allows you to see what's going on if you close your eyes.
And I thought all my favorite conductors were dead white guys.
Hats off, gentlemen(and ladies)!

Piano Concerto
Piano Concerto

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...arturo at his best, February 14, 2002
This review is from: Piano Concerto (Audio CD)
And I thought Furtwangler/Fischer could not be surpassed. Gilels/Ludwig are left wanting. This recording- amazingly clear for '61- is a true sleeper, I've never seen it mentioned before! The trills are immediately transporting, you are swept into a strongly symbiotic re-creation of the (much-abused) Beethoven masterpiece. The third movement is a brilliant, lucid conversation between the orchestra (della RAI Roma) and Benedetti, at times furious and screaming italians destroying the room then suddenly in respectful prayer. All these qualities are constantly at the service of the piece, illustrating Beethoven's twists and turns with enlightening clarity.
superlative recommendation.

Symphony 3
Symphony 3
16 used & new from $5.93

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wow., January 10, 2002
This review is from: Symphony 3 (Audio CD)
first- after having leisendorf, martinon(!), two maazel's,bernstein(aagh), a barbirolli and the great scheren (unsurpassed) on cd, this account of the 3rd was bought only because it was 9 bucks on clearance. what an unexpected experience, then , to find the most tastefully restrained 3rd yet. knowing svetlanov's tchaikovsky, i expected all out fire and verve. its there, but under the surface, images just seething the whole way through of the first movement. the tension is cut loose at key moments (esp. in the 2nd part), only to return to a sea of calm that never loses focus in the last movement(what love tells mahler). a great recording, if at times seems low, its really the conductor holding those considerable russian forces back for when they really count. never flags!- an achievment for such a marathon symphony and a hearty source of recommendation in itself if not for the other strong points- like the masterful orchestral playing. only down point is if you're impatient, svetalov is not and he has all of 110 minutes or so so take you along. great - highly recommended. sonic quality: DDD recording, 1990's sound. no problem. great stereo image

Symphony 6 " Pathetique "
Symphony 6 " Pathetique "
14 used & new from $3.06

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars full-tilt, not for the squeamish, January 9, 2002
mravinsky was respected-feared- by his orchestra to the point that they would sit half and hour before practice, ready. to avoid problems. as he appeared someone would warn, "incoming!" in a whisper. his control and shading of full blooded romantic pieces is the stuff of legends, as well as the polar odysseys he sounds out with shostakovich. here is a performance of tchaikovsky's last symphony that will move you. it is terrifying at times. there seems to be an urgent message throughout this music, and with the LPO/mravinsky, the transmission is clear and wide of spectrum. think schrodinger's wave equation, not collapsing to one possibilty, all happening together- its almost too much at times. you know, just get it.

Novaes Chopin
Novaes Chopin
Price: $15.13
20 used & new from $7.99

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars night music- dreaming awake, January 9, 2002
This review is from: Novaes Chopin (Audio CD)
novaes reminds me of alfred cortot in her approach to to the content of these nocturnes. no similarities in actual inetrpretative choices-mind you, but that same search for the shapes at the fringes of reality, the same attention to whats going on off-screen, in the emotional realm. sort of like showing what the beauty of these pieces represent, yet not turning away from whatever the long nights staring at the ceiling bring. this is how i believe nocturnes should be played. if you like cortot, this is up your alley- and better recorded sound, by far
PLUS the etudes novaes has owned these since they were released.

Symphony 7
Symphony 7
5 used & new from $26.85

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the john barbirolli experience: ...but beautiful, December 10, 2001
This review is from: Symphony 7 (Audio CD)
something about every recording (abbado, horenstein, that i listen to of the 7th puts just out of my reach. i dont get it the way i get other mahler symphonies, say the 5th, 2nd or 3rd. then there was this.
barbirolli makes sense of it all. and the sounds that are produced on the way are nothing short of intoxicating, a song of the night, to close ones eyes to.
the bruckner, needs to be paused after the last movement of the mahler 7 drifts into memory.
bruckner's 9th is handled with care, depth, and insight, deserving of being on its own. as a two-fer, this cd combo is proof of redemption in the world. i dont know why i wrote that, but it makes sense after listening to the recordings, somehow.
(it's hard enough trying to explain sound with letters on a glowing screen, you see)

Mahler: Symphony No. 9
Mahler: Symphony No. 9
7 used & new from $59.99

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a true masterpiece, December 10, 2001
This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No. 9 (Audio CD)
it's like horenstein's advance from the vox (vienna symphony) version of bruckner's 9th, and his bbc philharmonic offering, decades later. the difference is obvious. this recording shows similar maturity, compared to the vox version of horenstein's 'youth'. relativity aside, as a stand-alone performance it maps out most insightfully what can only be said to be the last work of an era. unlike klemperer, this version doesn't seem to overburden one,(though that may have been mahler's intent...)opting instead for a deeply spiritual, fascinating journey through life and what may lie beyond, tempered by an emerging acceptance of both. the botched parts referred to above seem to be a staple of some of horensteins later conducting, and i dont put it in the realm of impossibility to suggest it intentional, as it would further inform the chaotic ambience of the movement...
rest assured this one is a keeper.

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