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Classics: Piano Concertos

Bronfman; Salonen , Bartok Bela Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 7.69
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1. Con No.2: I. Allegro
2. Con No.2: II. Adagio - Presto - Adagio
3. Con No.2: III. Allegro Molto
4. Con No.3: I. Allegretto
5. Con No.3: II. Adagio Religioso - Poco Piu Mosso - Tempo I
6. Con No.3: III. Allegro Vivace
7. Con No.1: I. Allegro Moderato - Allegro - Allegro Moderato
8. Con No.1: II. Andante
9. Con No.1: III. Allegro Molto

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding value March 28 2002
Format:Audio CD
Summary for busy individuals: Pro - outstanding performances by soloist and orchestra; tough to beat for 8 bucks. Con - sub-par sound engineering.
Details: These are truly wonderful performances of Bartok's great piano concertos; but if you have other recordings of these pieces, you may be disappointed with the overall sound balance. Bartok's orchestral works require a high level of virtuosity from the soloist and orchestra. I enjoy these works more when the often-delicate interplay between the pianist and individual orchestra members is more clearly captured.
To appreciate the difference, you will need to spend a few more dollars to purchase the Peter Donohue/Simon Rattle digital recording (EMI 7 54871 2) where you will easily hear details which are oft-times rather muddled on the Sony disc, particularly during more frantic segments of "Allegro" movements in the first and second concertos. Following along with a copy of the score will help even more. They did a bit better during the slower-paced, lower level second movements; but it's not what I would expect from "24-bit technology...used to maximize sound recording" (as described in the liner credits).
My guess is that they didn't do their homework analyzing the acoustics of the chosen recording sites. They wisely chose to avoid the sonically questionable Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, heading to Long Beach for 1 & 3 and UCLA's Royce Hall for #2. Of these, the second concerto (which starts the disc) sounds best to me. Maybe they let interns set up the mikes and run the mixer - hard to say, but the rather distant sound doesn't do justice to these remarkable performances. Makes you wish they would have sub-contracted recording to a crew from Telarc, EMI or London.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars maybe not best choice Aug. 9 2002
Format:Audio CD
This is a pretty good recording and probably worth the money, but not the one I'd recommend. Maybe just the fault of the sound engineer, but the piano does not come through strongly enough. Instead go for Andras Schiff with Ivan Fisher and Budapest Festival Orchestra.
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Format:Audio CD
Yes, this is the same set of Bronfman/Salonen/LAP performances still available at mid-price from 1995 -- Sony has now released the disc as part of its "Essential Classics" series, for a nice budget price, perfect for a recession. Gorgeous music, played suberbly! Bartok combines Bach, Beethoven and Debussy with elfin wit, Hungarian folk music, and a modern attitude. With that modern attitude comes the occasional dash of dissonance, but this is music that is easily accomodated by any Romantic listener. Bartok was a great pianist, like Beethoven, and Bronfman makes me laugh with pure joy throughout this recording -- it's hard to imagine a more perfect version of these early 20th century classics.
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