|1. I. Allegro Affettuoso/Andante Espressivo/Allegro (Tempo I)/Piu Animato/Tempo I/Cadenza/Allegro Molto|
|2. II. Intermezzo: Andantino Grazioso|
|3. III. Allegro Vivace|
|4. I. Allegro Non Troppo E Molto Maestoso/Allegro Con Spirito|
|5. II. Andante Semplice/Prestissimo/Tempo I|
|6. III. Allegro Con Fuoco|
These live recordings are from 1991. Barenboim and Celibidache clearly see the Schumann concerto as the lovely, fresh-as-a-daisy work that it is, while never losing sight of the fact that it is a display piece as well. There's a wonderful energy level throughout, and rehearsals must have been plentiful; there's nary a glitch. The second and third movements practically float. The Tchaikovsky begins big, with those familiar horn calls and punctuation marks stating that this will be a very Russian experience indeed. The climaxes in the first movement are exciting and huge, the cadenza by turns lyrical and potent, and always well-articulated. The middle movement has no bombast; it's played and led as the dreamy piece it is, with the weird, fast middle section practically witty. And the last movement shows itself to be a powerful final statement, although Celibidache gets some charming wind playing from the orchestra during quieter moments. These two artists have been called idiosyncratic but there's little of that in evidence here. The Munich Philharmonic plays gloriously. This CD has a sense of occasion about it which makes it very special. Highly recommended. --Robert Levine
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The Tchaikovsky is an oddball pairing -- I'd never want to hear them together in one concert -- nor is this music one associates with Barenboim. I don't hear the Russian-ness that the Amazon reviewer claims to, but Barenboim's style is panoramic and he certainly has all the flair the work calls for. Good musical instincts serve him well, since he's not prepared to fire off cannons a la Richter and Horowitz. It's a shame that Celi suddenly decides to put on the brakes for the middle movement; the expressive purpose is lost on me. You agonize over every note of the opening flute solo as it's squeezed out. The finale gets us almost back up to speed, and Barenboim relishes the chance to race around the course, more a trot than a gallop. I'm impressed that he could remain so involved in this old standby.
The Schumann is a pure delight, and so are the outer movements of the Tchaikovsky. As a non-fan of Celibidache, I msut say that I'm impressed.