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Robert Schumann: Piano Concerto/Violin Concerto

Harnoncourt; Argerich; Kremer; Chamber Orchestra of Europe , Schumann Robert Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 19.90 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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1. Piano Concerto In A Minor, Op. 54: Allegro affettuoso
2. Piano Concerto In A Minor, Op. 54: Intermezzo: Andantino grazioso
3. Piano Concerto In A Minor, Op. 54: Allegro vivace
4. Violin Concerto in D minor: In kraftigem, nicht zu schnellem Tempo
5. Violin Concerto in D minor: Langsam
6. Violin Concerto in D minor: Lebhaft, doch nicht schnell

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Dans ces deux enregistrements réalisés en public (1992 et 1994), Harnoncourt expérimente les principes de la musique de chambre, élargis à l'orchestre symphonique. La fragilité apparente de l'orchestre surprend par la finesse de l'énoncé des thèmes. Le dramatisme germanique des versions passées s'est estompé grâce à un orchestre transparent et soucieux avant tout du dialogue le plus intime (intermezzo du Concerto pour violon). Ces subtils alliages de couleurs sont miraculeux de préparation. Argerich joue parfaitement le jeu de ce dialogue d'une enthousiasmante finesse et lisibilité. Kremer bouscule également les conventions dans le rare Concerto pour violon. Les tensions rythmiques s'impriment avec la légèreté d'un concerto mozartien. C'est limpide et intelligent, sans pour autant remettre en question la primauté des grands témoignages passés. Voici une expérience qu'il faut connaître et qui, du même coup, fait passer à la trappe les versions précédentes de ces deux formidables musiciens. --Pierre Massé

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars unknown but unbelievable April 11 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
What an unexpected joy it was to discover this relatively unknown violin concerto. As a concert pianist I purchased this disc in order to hear Argerich's approach to the piano concerto (one of my favorites). It was the violin concerto, however, which has struck me to the heart. What an unbelievably beautiful work. The entire developoment section of the opening movement must be amongst the most wonderfully crafted music ever penned - achingly tender and quietly impassioned. The Langsam movement is also a profoundly beautiful utterance. Throughout Kremer's playing is insightful and captures the essence of the work. The Chamber Orchestra of Europe are a wonderful group and this CD provides some of the most beautiful orchestral sonorities I have encountered on recordings thus far. I LOVE this CD.
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4.0 out of 5 stars somewhat resolved but powerful March 23 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
the reason why I bought this disc is listenig to famous piano concerto. but when I first listend to this,I am immidiately trapped to violin concerto.until now I can hardly find the reason why this great piece isn't that famous. kremer's vilolin, as usual,powerful, but there is something different . it's a little resolved and more emotional. I think, schmann had a very great talent to catch and express personal feeling. its melancholy atmosphere appealed me than any other music
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unknown but unbelievable April 11 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
What an unexpected joy it was to discover this relatively unknown violin concerto. As a concert pianist I purchased this disc in order to hear Argerich's approach to the piano concerto (one of my favorites). It was the violin concerto, however, which has struck me to the heart. What an unbelievably beautiful work. The entire developoment section of the opening movement must be amongst the most wonderfully crafted music ever penned - achingly tender and quietly impassioned. The Langsam movement is also a profoundly beautiful utterance. Throughout Kremer's playing is insightful and captures the essence of the work. The Chamber Orchestra of Europe are a wonderful group and this CD provides some of the most beautiful orchestral sonorities I have encountered on recordings thus far. I LOVE this CD.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent coupling of an old warhorse and a little-known gem Oct. 2 2005
By David Arenson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I always enjoy Nikolaus Harnoncourt's take on things. By going back to the original scores and following the dictates of the composer, he sometimes ignores performance tradition but captures nuances and intentions that have been lost. Such is the case here, especially with the violin concerto, where he and Gidon Kremer take the third movement at a slow pace -- a stately polonaise -- as the composer intended. (The accompanying booklet spells out Schumann's views quite clearly.) Not everyone likes this approach, but I do: the result is an elegant, moving and even playful work. For those who have not heard the concerto, the first movement epecially is a gem, one of those why-I-like-Schumann revelations brimming with musical ideas in the composer's unique personal style. The violin concerto has been unfairly maligned over time by those who say Schumann's powers were diminishing when he wrote it. If these are the ravings of a soon-to-be-madman, they are still better than most of the music written in his era!

The piano concerto, an old warhorse which has threatened to sink under its own overperformed weight, is played with verve and panache by Martha Argerich, a performance almost universally proclaimed as one of the best on disc. If you think you've heard the piano concerto a few times too many, Argerich and Harnoncourt put some of the magic back in the piece.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Performances of Schuman's Best Known & Little Known Concerti from Argerich, Kremer, Harnoncourt & COE April 3 2007
By John Kwok - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Without question the most riveting recording I have heard of the Schumann piano concerto is this critically acclaimed version with Martha Argerich as soloist which is from a live performance recorded successfully by Teldec as if it was a studio recording. Argerich, Harnoncourt and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe have taken a rather vivid, fresh take on this venerable warhourse, truly clearing some of the cobwebs in performance practice, by taking a more historically-informed approach. And yet it is an approach which doesn't forsake Argerich's intense, often quite dramatic, playing for which she has become well known. I disagree with a different customer reviewer who observed that this performance doesn't quite yield a "conversation between piano and orchestra", since she seems to have found excellent musical partners in both Harnoncourt and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe who have no trouble matching her tempi. Having heard Argerich perform this work live and in several other notable recordings, I'd say that this one may be the best, simply because she has fascinating partners in Harnoncourt and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, who've excelled in demonstrating Schumann's gifts as a fine composer of orchestral music steeped in great melodies, more so than in other recordings I've heard.

Most classical music fans interested in this recording will find equally impressive Gidon Kremer's impassioned, lyrical account of the Schumann violin concerto from a live concert performance, which regrettably remains obscure (However, I still recall a most vivid, lyrical live performance of it by acclaimed Greek violinist Leonidas Kavarkos with Wolfgang Sawallisch conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra several years ago at Carnegie Hall.). Indeed, aside from Kavarkos's performance, I have heard this work before only via an earlier recording by a young Joshua Bell with Christoph von Dohnanyi conducting the Cleveland Orchestra which dates from the mid 1990s. Kremer's impassioned, emotionally intense performance, especially of the first two movements, may be the memorable I've come across, simply because he conveys through his playing the emotional anguish which Schumann felt as he was losing his grip on his sanity. Much to my surprise, the third movement is played slower - and I think more convincingly by Kremer, Harnoncourt and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe than in other performances I've cited - as a true polonaise, emphasizing Schumann's affinity for Polish folk music. But I concur with another reviewer that this concerto is indeed a musical document of a tragedy - Schumann's rapid descent into madness - tracing the gradual unraveling of Schumann's skill in orchestration from the start of the second movement to the very end of the third, which seemingly concludes on such a subtle, unfinished note.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars somewhat resolved but powerful March 23 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
the reason why I bought this disc is listenig to famous piano concerto. but when I first listend to this,I am immidiately trapped to violin concerto.until now I can hardly find the reason why this great piece isn't that famous. kremer's vilolin, as usual,powerful, but there is something different . it's a little resolved and more emotional. I think, schmann had a very great talent to catch and express personal feeling. its melancholy atmosphere appealed me than any other music
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is Kremer's first recording of the Schumann concerto better? Aug. 26 2006
By kreisler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The Schumann violin concerto clearly is underappreciated, and it is great that Kremer did a second recording. I may be biased by the fact that I first heard this wonderful piece of music in the first Kremer recording (with Riccardo Muti conducting). While I did feel that some passages in this earlier recording, especially in the final movement, were hurried, I feel that the newer (this) recording goes to the other extreme and that sometimes in the corner movements, the music is too static - I wonder if some tempi should be just in between. But anyway: If you like serious romantic music, non-virtuoso but rich in substance (like e.g. the first Brahms piano concerto) but don't know this Violin concerto, buy either one recording (or maybe both, the other one is still available coupled with the Brahms and Sibelius concertos), and you may be in for a big surprise.
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