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Emperor Concerto / Symphony 7 [Import]

Beethoven , Firkusny , Steinberg , Pts Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 53.95
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1. Piano Concerto No.5 In E-Flat, 'Emperor': I. Allegro
2. Piano Concerto No.5 In E-Flat, 'Emperor': II. Adagio un poco mosso
3. Piano Concerto No.5 In E-Flat, 'Emperor': III. Rondo (Allegro)
4. Symphony No.7 In A Major, Op.92: I. Poco sostenuto - Vivace
5. Symphony No.7 In A Major, Op.92: II. Allegretto
6. Symphony No.7 In A Major, Op.92: III. Presto - Assai meno presto
7. Symphony No.7 In A Major, Op.92: IV. Allegro con brio

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent performance of interesting pieces Jan. 28 2004
Format:Audio CD
The Riley compositions will be a bit of a revelation to those who know him primarily from his "In C" and "Rainbows in Curved Air" days. His work here is much more nuanced, and frankly, interesting. The first work is an homage to John Lennon, using elements of "I am the Walrus". You won't be stuck with the Beatles tune in your head when you listen to this however, since the only really recognizable bit is that last 30 seconds. The other Riley work is a suite of 5 movements called "The Heaven Ladder, Book 7". The styles of the movements are quite varied from one to the other. Although we think of Riley as one of the minimalists, what you get here is a melange of styles. Here a bit that sounds like Debussy, there some Poulenc, and over there some Persichetti. Or a bit of Chick Corea. But Riley isn't mimicking these other composers -- the comparisons are only an attempt to give a flavor of what the music is like. One of the movements is an honest-to-goodness fugue.
The two pieces by Adams are much more in the minimalist vein, and for this listener, more satisfying -- the Riley pieces are in a rather more light-hearted mood. As Adams states in the liner notes, the "Gates" in the titles are derived from electronics, not door-like things. In both pieces he abruptly (but not disturbingly) shifts from one mode to another, like flipping a switch (or a "gate"). In the more ambitious of the two, Phrygian Gates, there is a great breadth of expression: tempo and dynamic changes abound. It is also quite complex, both structurally and technically. It takes some world-class technique to pull it off.
And Gloria Cheng-Cochran does just that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great Phrygian Gates March 4 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Since learning of this CD 4 years ago, I have played it at a few times a week. That's not quite right - I have played Phyrigian Gates a few times a week. The other pieces are good, but Phrygian Gates is such a complex, towering, moving, mighty work
of composition and piano playing that I never tire of it. It is, as Adams says, a wave structure of music, sometimes calm, sometimes turbulent, sometimes pushed along effortlessly. The passage that starts at 9:57 is one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard, and I look forward to the doldrums that start 14 minutes in. A spellbinding 25 minute piece I encourage you to check out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A "must hear" recording worthy of anyone's time May 25 2000
Format:Audio CD
Gloria Cheng is an extraordinary pianist who deserves to be known to far more people than have currently discovered her. Anyone who appreciates exquisite touch and tone will enjoy this recording. Absolutely not to be missed. (And those who think they know Terry Riley's "style" are in for a big surprise!)
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5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding recording. Aug. 16 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is a one in a million find
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent performance of interesting pieces Jan. 28 2004
By David A. Beamer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The Riley compositions will be a bit of a revelation to those who know him primarily from his "In C" and "Rainbows in Curved Air" days. His work here is much more nuanced, and frankly, interesting. The first work is an homage to John Lennon, using elements of "I am the Walrus". You won't be stuck with the Beatles tune in your head when you listen to this however, since the only really recognizable bit is that last 30 seconds. The other Riley work is a suite of 5 movements called "The Heaven Ladder, Book 7". The styles of the movements are quite varied from one to the other. Although we think of Riley as one of the minimalists, what you get here is a melange of styles. Here a bit that sounds like Debussy, there some Poulenc, and over there some Persichetti. Or a bit of Chick Corea. But Riley isn't mimicking these other composers -- the comparisons are only an attempt to give a flavor of what the music is like. One of the movements is an honest-to-goodness fugue.
The two pieces by Adams are much more in the minimalist vein, and for this listener, more satisfying -- the Riley pieces are in a rather more light-hearted mood. As Adams states in the liner notes, the "Gates" in the titles are derived from electronics, not door-like things. In both pieces he abruptly (but not disturbingly) shifts from one mode to another, like flipping a switch (or a "gate"). In the more ambitious of the two, Phrygian Gates, there is a great breadth of expression: tempo and dynamic changes abound. It is also quite complex, both structurally and technically. It takes some world-class technique to pull it off.
And Gloria Cheng-Cochran does just that. Her playing is not only technically flawless, but is also quite musical -- bringing out the nuances, carefully placing each note. For those who think of minimalism as rather dull at times, these performances might just change your mind. The playing brings out "melodic" ideas, middle voices, etc.
Lastly, a comment on the balance of the music: although there are 6 cuts by Riley and only 2 by Adams, the amount of time is much closer than that -- roughly half-and-half. The last track (by Adams) is 26 minutes long.
I must say I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this CD.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Painfully overlooked gem of music, performance and CD Feb. 22 2013
By Christopher King - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Among the most compelling solo piano music I have heard, and the performance here is amazingly musical, and the sound engineering perfect. I have no idea why this is not heard or played more often. Sure, it's modern, but in such an engagingly musical sense, full of melody, charm, emotion. I would call it classically modern. For me parts are derived from Bach, parts from Beethoven, parts entirely original, not that it's borrowed from them, but follows their natural progression. The standout composition to me is Terry Riley's 'The Heavenly Ladder'. The other mesmerizing composition is John Adams' 'China Gates' (which was used in that equally mesmerizing documentary on PBS/KQED called The Sandman around 2008 based on the ephemeral art of Jim Denevan.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars amazon bungled here July 9 2011
By Eric Zuesse - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The samples and some of the reviews are not from the CD that is supposedly the subject of this page. The three-star rating and this review should be removed (along with the others) when the amazon employee who goofed here is fired and this page is consequently able to be updated with the correct information and links, so that reviewers can review this CD.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good music,excellent performance , March 4 2005
By Alberto M. Ramos - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is very sensitive music with a very serious performance .

I agree with some reviews , Gloria Cheng-Cochran gives wonderful performances here and deserves much wider recognition. The works by Adams are very beautiful and Terry Riley is no less a surprise , I love "fandango on the Heaven Ladder" , maybe because I'm Spanish !!!!.

I agree with the reviewers, "Phrygian Gates " is quite outstanding !!!.
11 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arguably the one of the greatest 7ths........ Sept. 9 2002
By Timothy Mikolay - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Even though this album features a ghostly and wonderfully executed Beethoven 5th Piano Concerto (almost all of the artists, even in the orchestra have passed on), there is the addition of the 7th Symphony that EMI Classics seems to enjoy marketing and I feel is the greatest recording of the work.
Steinberg's 7th is astonishing for very simple reasons: consistency, tempi and balance. During the 50's, the PSO was top notch and made numerous, memorable recordings with Steinberg and their 7th was, and I feel continues to be, their calling card.
A full bowing from the strings opens the first movement and the elegance never stops. Even the second movement is quite elegant but nowhere near as slow as Karajan's and every bit as solemn. The Presto movement is fiery and the last movement never loses touch with the work's previous three. And this is always the problem with this symphony. Most conductors tie the first three movements together quite masterfully and then go to town in the last, forgetting the beautiful musical lines they executed.
Steinberg is the true master here. On no recording, maybe Gardiner comes close, do I hear a more distinct musical line from opening to closing. I hope the reader doesn't miss a chance to grab this CD... because it is the best Beethoven 7th I've ever heard. The concerto is beautifully played as well.
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