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Piano Concerto No 2

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Joaquin Achucarro performs with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Colin Davis. Extras include documentary footage about Achucarro's 50th anniversary of his debut with the London Symphony featuring interviews with Placido Domingo, Simon Rattle, a

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian (DTS 5.1), Italian (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: March 30, 2010
  • Run Time: 131 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0033A9IQG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,341 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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This is music from the heart and soul. No showmanship here. Instead, Achucarro offers cultivated, disciplined devotion and a technique so brilliant that it's almost self-effacing. Some may find this less muscular playing than they are looking for. Certainly one should not expect Richter or Gilels! And the opening may, in fact, be too polite for its own good. But the third movement-- with its impassioned cello solo-- reaches surprising depths and is the crux of the experience.

Colin Davis takes his cue from the pianist and keeps the LSO sound so mellow the big band almost feels like a chamber orchestra. There may be performances with more fire, but few with such civilized craft.

Don't miss Achucarro's performance of the Brahms Op 117 in the extras.
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The video image here is gorgeous and the LSO is in top form in a lovely rehearsal hall space, but the energy level is middling.
I had not been acquainted with Achucarro before (there's a documentary, too)and he clearly has the technique to address this work. What I'm missing here in his playing is depth and phrasing. I find his interpretation to be rather literal, and I'm reminded of many places where theres just that subtlety missing in the phrasing, it may only be milliseconds, but what a difference it makes! Colin Davis rather follows his lead in this area, but he is known as being rather literal. If you like mild-mannered Brahms, this may fill the bill for you.

Otherwise read on re: Zimerman and Pollini.

I find the Second one of Brahms most visceral pieces, where the right interpreter can make me feel grabbed, punched and soothed. Brahms Second is one of the most powerful and fiery concertos in the repertoire. Check out Georg Szell and Leon Fleischer's classic audio recording, among others.

I have some problems with the sound also. The track labelled LPCM 5.1 is at a lower level and there is little/no surround information. The LPCM Stereo track is at a higher level and does have surround information. There was an opportunity here to make a real 5.1 demonstration recording with no restrictions on mike placement, but there is no sense of the space here and no sense of hearing as though on the podium.

That is a real pity. The best demo of real 5.1 in opera I have heard is a series of recordings by Dynamic at Opera de Wallonie, where you are front row center on a live space. Most others including this example wind up being center channel mono with a few cues but not a sense of the space.
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