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P. Adrian "Adrian" RSS Feed (Arad, Romania)
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Brahms: The Symphonies
Brahms: The Symphonies
Price: $27.87
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seductive Brahms cycle under Riccardo Chailly, November 2, 2014
This review is from: Brahms: The Symphonies (Audio CD)
I am posting this review a year now after coming from Vienna where I followed the four evenings of the Brahms cycle offered by Riccardo Chailly and his fabulous players from Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra at the Golden Hall Musikverein. The impression was overwhelming. Conductor's vision proved itself as authoritative and inspired throughout, while the response of the orchestra quite thrilling both in musical and technical terms.

Therefore, I decided on spot to buy this 3-CD box set issued recently - with the same cast - by the prestigious DECCA label. The repeated listening of the mighty symphonies (along with other orchestral pieces by the same composer included on these recordings) enchants me at the same extent as their live performances did several days ago.

Despite all the criticisms regarding the brisk tempos Chailly enforces in these symphonies, I honestly find his version as utterly able to stand on equal footing with the old canonical versions (which, he is telling us in the liner notes, have long stood as inspirational benchmarks for him - especially Weingartner's). One can observe as well both the large-scale structure lines of each symphony and its finest details regarding the harmonic textures or melodic cells to be developed in Brahms's magisterial sense of variation. On the other hand, it is equally true that the sentimental side of these works is somehow blurred which could disturb traditional listeners. However, Chailly claims that his vision aims at shaking up the tradition (with its established habits) when it comes to Brahms interpretation. And he acts manifestly in this respect - though strictly following the score - with notable success.

In my view, an excellent achievement for Chailly and his Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig! Bravo!


Beethoven: The Symphonies
Beethoven: The Symphonies
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5.0 out of 5 stars New and illuminating perspective on Beethoven, November 2, 2014
Riccardo Chailly and his fabulous players from Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra issued recently this appealing box set comprising 5 CDs devoted to the complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies & overtures. It is not only the astounding artistic achievement that shines throughout the proceedings, but also the sound quality of the recording that enraptures the listener from the first bar of the First Symphony up to the last bar of the last overture. Well balanced, minutely weight, firmly articulated by the conductor's authoritative vision, the result seems simply marvelous in musical terms. It could stay on equal footing with the most celebrated versions of the past (signed by legendary figures of the baton such as Toscanini, Karajan, Bruno Walter, Klemperer, Bernstein, Wand, Claudio Abbado, Muti, Barenboim), but with a plus of fresh inspiration and seductive sound-mastering. I am not hesitating in considering that this Chailly-Beethoven set will prove itself as a landmark signature in the recorded catalog.

All in all a lovely present for the Beethoven fans, a fabulous traversal of symphonies & overtures from a new illuminating perspective!


Complete Symphonies & Concertos
Complete Symphonies & Concertos
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb account, October 22, 2014
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I have been looking for a long time to get a complete cycle of the Dvorak's symphonic output in an utterly authorized interpretation and a high-quality recorded sound. Maestro Jiri Belohlavek assumed recently this task in the company of his wonderful Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and the resulting CD-box is simply a precious account of this repertoire. Not only because Belohlavek knows like nobody else the moods of the Czech music and the interconnections between its specific themes, harmonies, sonorities, melodies, tempos and deep patterns, but also for he is a refined musician of Central-European formation which blends in a fascinating proportion the passionate feeling and the clean thought. The soloists invited to perform the concertante works belong to the most proficient musicians available on the international platform today. I listened a year ago to Garrick Ohlsson performing this very Concerto for piano and orchestra in Budapest (with BFO under Ivan Fischer) and a sense of his absolute identification with this kind of music stayed with me. I recognized on disc his turn of phrase, his inspired touch and his "self-effacing" vision on this quasi-symphonic score. Frank Peter Zimmermann displays a whole gamut of sensitivity to convey in musical terms a deeply felt poem on notes for violin and orchestra. The monumental Cello Concerto with its overwhelming melodic lines and magnificent orchestration seems perfectly suitable to Alisa Weilerstein her temperament and technical skills led to a perfect immersion into the musical flow.

A few words about the orchestra. Indisputably, it is now one of the leading symphonic ensembles of the world. Its mellow sound with warm inflections and keen insights singles it out among the greatest contemporary orchestras. For this repertory I can hardly see another orchestra of the same calibre, of the same profound understanding and empathy with the Czech music as this wonderful ensemble of exquisite fellow musicians Jiri Belohlavek, its actual chief, former pupil of Sergiu Celibidache and a world-famous conductor in his own right is the inspirational personality who from the helm of the orchestra gives it in the most natural way its deserved glare. Five stars!


Piano Concerto No 5 - Emperor
Piano Concerto No 5 - Emperor
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imperial celebration of Nelson Freire 70!, October 18, 2014
Today, great Brazilian pianist Nelson Frere turns 70. None of his fine craftsmanship or unfailing musical insights has diminished over the years spanning his fabulous concertizing career. On the contrary, his playing has gained - day by day, performance by performance - a distilled inspiration and a sovereign mellow touch propelled by a robust empathy with the music he deals with, whatever he chooses to interpret - let it be Chopin, Liszt or Debussy. Or, Beethoven as the case is here on his recent recording released by DECCA (his home label for decades). The famous Freire poetic touch is nothing but the physical expression of his deep immersion into the evanescent realm of composer's intentions, a journey in search for truest feelings and thoughts the latter put in the score. I think that's the point of his supreme seductive performances (on disc or live, on stage): to be true to the music, to live with it in fullest honesty.

These wonderful accounts of Beethoven mighty masterpieces - The Emperor piano concerto and the valedictory sonata op.111 gathered on this CD- are meant to celebrate in a fitting manner Freire's 70th anniversary. All his aficionados (I am one of them) already are eagerly anticipating his announced complete cycle of Beethoven piano concertos. A top-notch orchestra (Gewandhaus Leipzig) and a super star conductor (Riccardo Chailly) - both long standing partners of Freire's are pairing him in this mature endeavor of which this release is the opener.

I rate this recording with five big stars! Many happy returns, Nelson Freire!
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 9, 2014 10:21 AM PST


Piano Trio No 1
Piano Trio No 1
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5.0 out of 5 stars In fullness of the Viennese romantic mood, October 4, 2014
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This review is from: Piano Trio No 1 (Audio CD)
If you are a chamber music aficionado and succumb under the charm of the Viennese mood conveyed so lovely and graciously by Franz Schubert in his works, then you must get immediately this CD devoted to his Piano Trio No.1 D898 and Trockne Blumen (as well as its companion volume which comprises Piano Trio no.2 D929).

The artists featured on this recorded rendition are: violinist Antje Weithaas, cellist Tanja Tetzlaff, and pianist Lars Vogt (for Piano Trio) and flutist Chiara Tonelli and pianist Silke Avenhaus for the ensuing variations.

Their masterful approach is utterly convincing and seductive throughout. The quality of the recorded sound is as intimate as chamber music requires and the balance is perfect. From artistic point of view this is to me one of the best available versions.


Piano Trio 2
Piano Trio 2
Price: $17.19
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chamber Viennese romantic splendour, October 4, 2014
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This review is from: Piano Trio 2 (Audio CD)
If you are a chamber music aficionado and succumb under the charm of the Viennese mood conveyed so lovely and graciously by Franz Schubert in his works, then you must get immediately this CD devoted to his Piano Trio no.2 D929 (as well as its companion which comprises Piano Trio No.1 D898 and Trockne Blumen). The present recorded rendition is given by a refined group of (relatively) young musicians - violinist and cellist Christian & Tanja Tetzlaff, and pianist Lars Vogt.

Their masterful approach is utterly convincing and seductive throughout. The quality of the recorded sound is as intimate as chamber music requires and the balance is quite perfect. From artistic point of view this is to me one of the best (up to now) available versions.


Beethoven: The Piano Sonatas Vol. VI
Beethoven: The Piano Sonatas Vol. VI
Price: $16.57
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beethoven’s middle creative period ended in a profound vision of Andras Schiff, October 3, 2014
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The sixth installment of Andras Schiff complete Beethoven sonata cycle is no less appealing than the other companion volumes. My impression is not mainly determined by the fact that here one can find the celebrated “Appassionata”, which is, of course, a gorgeous display of inventiveness and virtuosity. The lovely Sonata in G major is here the pinnacle of the recording, followed immediately by the “Les Adieux” dedicated to archduke Rudolph of Austria and the F-sharp major sonata “a Therese”. They actually mark the end of the middle period in Beethoven creation and announce the final creative burst to come.
All in all, it is a consistent recital program that Andras Schiff delivers with special inspiration and devotement to one of his beloved composers. The recorded sound is all the way clear, pulpy and charmingly calibrated.


BEETHOVEN: VIOLIN CONCERTO IN D(2CD)
BEETHOVEN: VIOLIN CONCERTO IN D(2CD)
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4.0 out of 5 stars An elegant and distant version of the Beethoven violin concerto, October 1, 2014
When such giants as violinist Vadim Repin, conductor Riccardo Muti and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra join forces to accomplish a new recording of the celebrated Violin Concerto in D major by Beethoven, one is entitled to place the expectances at a very high artistic level. Even, to be anxious to discover what is the revolutionary viewpoint that triggered the new approach. What are the motivations to climb this Everest of the violin concerto genre. The high artistic level is indeed achieved, but something next to flamboyance is lacking finally. Repin reads exactly the whole work, delivers a version full of sensitivity and phrases intelligently but... avoids the turmoil, the romantic passion – which imbues all the movements. Muti and his Viennese musicians supply a sober accompaniment, somehow restrained, somehow icy. I would label this version (Repin – Muti) of the Beethoven violin concerto as an elegant and distant one. As an encore, we are offered the “Kreuzer Sonata” where Repin is paired by the volcanic Martha Argerich. Here one can encounter a more ardent approach, maybe the Argentine pianist’s inspirational contribution properly warms the proceedings.


Beethoven Violin Concerto - Kreutzer Sonata
Beethoven Violin Concerto - Kreutzer Sonata
Price: $17.52
35 used & new from $9.55

4.0 out of 5 stars An elegant and distant version of the Beethoven violin concerto, September 30, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
When such giants as violinist Vadim Repin, conductor Riccardo Muti and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra join forces to accomplish a new recording of the celebrated Violin Concerto in D major by Beethoven, one is entitled to place the expectances at a very high artistic level. Even, to be anxious to discover what is the revolutionary viewpoint that triggered the new approach. What are the motivations to climb this Everest of the violin concerto genre. The high artistic level is indeed achieved, but something next to flamboyance is lacking finally. Repin reads exactly the whole work, delivers a version full of sensitivity and phrases intelligently but... avoids the turmoil, the romantic passion - which imbues all the movements. Muti and his Viennese musicians supply a sober accompaniment, somehow restrained, somehow icy. I would label this version (Repin - Muti) of the Beethoven violin concerto as an elegant and distant one. As an encore, we are offered the "Kreuzer Sonata" where Repin is paired by the volcanic Martha Argerich. Here one can encounter a more ardent approach, maybe the Argentine pianist's inspirational contribution properly warms the proceedings.


Beethoven: The Piano Sonatas, Vol. 7: Sonatas Opp. 90, 101 and 106
Beethoven: The Piano Sonatas, Vol. 7: Sonatas Opp. 90, 101 and 106
Price: $16.23
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5.0 out of 5 stars The late style in Beethoven’s piano sonata output, September 29, 2014
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These three sonatas – 27 in e minor (op.90), no.28 in A major (op.101), and no.29 in B-flat major “Hammerklavier” (op.106) – mark the beginning of the so called “late period” in Beethoven’s piano sonata output. They evidently aim at conveying the essence of composer’s inner world straightforwardly and with no embellishments. The feeling is decanted in a sober manner, the thought is naturally articulated, the resulting sound contains exactly the needed weight and projects the all-embracing turmoil, or the inescapable melancholy, or the dignified pacification, as the case is.
Andras Schiff, a master of nuances, traverses all these states and re-creates this Beethovenian cosmos with a astounding economy of means. Music just happens on spot. That sense of inevitability enriches the proceedings with an unmatched noblesse, in musical terms.

“Hammerklavier” Sonata has represented since its birth a true “tour de force” for every interpreter who dared to approach it, but only few of them can master all its difficulties with such a simplicity that impose it as a charming musical masterpiece not mere a demanding warhorse of the piano repertory. Indisputably, Schiff is one of them. Here he has given a landmark interpretation of it, by magisterially advocating not only the emotional side – which is copiously relished in virtuosic outbursts - but also the theoretical concepts and structures of the sonata genre.


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