- Audio CD (Oct. 22 2002)
- SPARS Code: DDD
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Nam
- ASIN: B00006GO4C
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #77,162 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|1. Allegro Appassionato|
|2. Canzone: Moderato|
|3. Allegro Molto|
|4. Die Natali, Op.37|
|5. Medea's Meditation And Dance Of Vengeance, Op.23A|
|6. Commando March|
The Piano concerto is well played by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the soloist, Stephan Prutsman. Mr. Prutsman is a very gifted pianist and has an interesting, more aggressive approach to the concerto. This recording is comparable to those by John Browning, the dedicatee of the concerto, but this recording is not quite as lyrical as Browning and has a harder edge to the playing.
Medea's Meditation and Dance of Vengeance, part of a longer ballet written for Martha Graham, is well played but cannot match the recording by Thomas Schippers for its intensity and atmosphere of fear. So although these are not among the best recording they are of interest and are appealing. The reasonable price for this disc and the overall quality recommend it highly.
The centerpiece of this CD is the Piano Concerto. This concerto was written for John Browning and he has played it literally hundreds of times over the past four decades; he has recorded it several times. I listened to his most recent recording with Leonard Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony in order to compare it with the present recording, and I have to say that Stephen Prutsman, the pianist on this disc, has nothing to apologize for. Whereas Browning's treatment seems a bit more settled, a bit more sedate, Prutsman's playing is more brilliant, somewhat more percussive, and equally satisfying. The piano is recorded rather more forward on this Naxos disc. I would have to give Browning the edge in the poetic second movement, but in the more vigorous sections Prutsman seems more energized.
The Die Natali is a Christmas piece, written at about the same time as the Piano Concerto. It treats such familiar Christmas carols as O come, O come, Emmanuel; Lo, how a rose e'er blooming; God rest ye merry, Gentlemen; We three kings; Good King Wenceslas. There is even a section where O come, O come, Emmanuel is played over an ostinato taken from Adeste fideles. The biggest climax is based on Joy to the world, and then Silent Night closes the piece quietly. Do not mistakenly believe that this is simply a medley of Christmas tunes--far from it; it is an extremely skillful piece that utilizes all manner of contrapuntal and harmonic devices to create a satisfying symphonic whole.Read more ›