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Grieg: Piano Concerto in A Minor / Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor ~ Thibaudet / Gergiev

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 12, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

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The Grieg piano concerto is one of those works that are hindered by their own popularity. It has been a constant feature of concert life for so long that it is sometimes dismissed as an old warhorse, making it difficult to approach it with fresh ears. Yet that is what Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Valery Gergiev have managed to do here, to judge from the results. From the very opening chord, which somehow gives an almost Hollywood feel to the famous descending piano passage that starts the work, there is a sense of discovery that you don't expect to find in such a well-known piece. The dramatic bluster is all there. But so is some very delicate playing from both soloist and orchestra. Chopin's second piano concerto (the first to be written, but the second to be published) is no stranger to our concert platforms, either, and again we get a fresh, unhackneyed reading. As with the Grieg, Thibaudet's entrance is dramatic, and both soloist and conductor seem to take pleasure in bringing out the romanticism. If you have any doubts, try the deliciously lyrical Larghetto movement, and they will be instantly dispelled. --Keith Clarke
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Product Details

  • Performer: Thibaudet
  • Orchestra: Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Gergiev
  • Composer: Greig, Chopin
  • Audio CD (September 12, 2000)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B00004U5BH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,827 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John Kwok HALL OF FAME on October 18, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Thibaudet gives polished, dramatic performances of Grieg's and Chopin's Second Piano Concertos. These are crisp, novel interpretations in which Thibaudet plays with ample warmth and brilliance. Gergiev and the Rotterdam Philharmonic yield warm, passionate performances which underscore Thibaudet's dramatic playing. This young French pianist's playing sounds as elegant as any I have heard from the likes of Brendel or Kovacevich, without missing any of the scores' dramatic tension. Clearly this is a fine coupling of both familiar piano concertos that is definitely worth owning.
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Format: Audio CD
One of the most famous opening lines in all music, graceful, arching melodies and full-bodied romantic sentiment throughout. This is Grieg's Piano Concerto in a nutshell. Thibaudet, Gergiev and the Rotterdam Philharmonic do a fantastic job of capturing the energy and pleasure of this score. The sound quality is superb. The piano shines but never is out of balance with the orchestra. Gergiev should get a special mention for his orchestral support, lilting and effectual. Gried has probably never sounded better - both sensitive and when necessary, passionate. The Chopin Piano Concerto does not have the same visceral melodic thrills as does the Grieg, but it is extremely pleasant going down. Chopin provides the polished piano technique that Grieg does not - however his orchestral colors are a little stiff. Overall though, this is an well programmed disc with outstanding performances and sound quality to boot.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
These two concerti provide an interesting manner in which to hear one of Europe's greatest orchestras, and its colorful director. Behind Thibaudet's playing, which is melodic and and commanding in the Grieg, lyrical and playful in the Chopin, one can sense a wild animal striving to step gracefully beside its trainer instead of pounce as it is wont. The Chopin especially seems to bring out a tamer side of both orchestra and conductor, although I prefer the Grieg for its arresting chords from the soloist himself, and the crescendoes so beautifully done at the finale of the A Minor. Bravo, Maestro and M. Thibaudet!
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