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YEVGENY KISSIN: MUSIC OF S


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Product Details

  • Composer: EVGENY KISSIN
  • Audio CD (May 29 1996)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon - Universal Special Imports
  • ASIN: B000001GO6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #234,370 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Fantasia In C Major 'Wanderer' D 760: Allegro con fuoco ma non troppo
2. Fantasia In C Major 'Wanderer' D 760: Adagio
3. Fantasia In C Major 'Wanderer' D 760: Presto
4. Fantasia In C Major 'Wanderer' D 760: Allegro
5. Gretchen Am Spinnrade
6. Standchen
7. Der Mueller Und Der Bach
8. Auf Dem Wasser Zu Singen
9. Fantasien Op. 116: Capriccio. Presto energico
10. Fantasien Op. 116: Intermezzo. Andante
11. Fantasien Op. 116: Capriccio. Allegro passionato
12. Fantasien Op. 116: Intermezzo. Adagio
13. Fantasien Op. 116: Intermezzo. Andante con grazia ed intimissimo sentimento
14. Fantasien Op. 116: Intermezzo. Andantino teneramente
15. Fantasien Op. 116: Capriccio. Allegro agitato
16. Ungarische Rhapsodie No. 12

Product Description

Product Description

Amazon.ca

This recital disc, recorded when Kissin was still in his teens, displays the phenomenal pianist's command of a spectrum extending from exuberant virtuoso style to deep-gazing, lyrical inwardness. Both, in fact, are present in the marvelous sonata-length Wanderer-Fantasie of Schubert. Kissin launches into its compulsive dactylic rhythm with an energy that soon sets sparks flying. It's a fiendishly difficult piece--in particular the fugal finale--which the composer himself could barely play, yet Kissin keeps our attention riveted on Schubert's promethean inventiveness. The Adagio's gently spun beauties as rendered here begin to approach the sphere of late Beethoven. Some Schubert song settings elaborately transcribed by Liszt are also included, to gorgeous effect. Kissin explores the inner world of Brahms's Op. 116 Fantasies with supreme sensitivity and an intuitive grasp of their densely concentrated vision. But when it comes to the athletic turns and scampering gymnastics of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12, Kissin can communicate a giddy mood of unlimited prowess and agility. This is the kind of artist whose every stage of development proves fascinating as he continues to mature. --Thomas May

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
Not ANOTHER ultimate virtuoso, I thought, remembering uneasily how Horowitz was dismissive, and Michelangeli downright rude, about the younger players. So this seemed like a good mix of pieces to start getting to know Kissin, with Liszt (of course) but Schubert and Brahms at their greatest too.
There's no mistaking it, the divine spark is here and no sense of the assembly-line virtuoso that I suppose is what Horowitz and Michelangeli were complaining about. In the Wanderer Fantasy Kissin is his own man, taking a more romantic view of the first section than Richter or Pollini. As with Richter (here at his very best) there is a warmth to the playing that I miss from Pollini, and I have to say that Richter is fully equalled by the kid with all the hair gazing out solemnly from the back of the record box. Obviously Kissin has the advantage of up-to-date recorded sound, but other than that any choice between Kissin and Richter is going to be a matter of details and personal temperament, so I prefer not to choose but to have both. In the Brahms pieces I was able to compare Kissin with the classic performance from Katchen's omnibus edition, and the first thing that struck me was that Kissin is an absolute natural for Brahms. The rubato is supremely natural and the tempi in the four slow pieces are, to my ears, definitely better chosen. The first 3 intermezzi gain in eloquence from Kissin's slower speeds, and the strange and very inward E minor is genuinely played 'con intimissimo sentimento'. Katchen misses this one, I feel.
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I like this disc, mostly because of the great playing Kissin offers us in the Wanderer Fantasie and the lied transcriptions of Schubert. The Schubert Wanderer Fantasie is played with an enormous drive an force, which gives this interpretation a very personal touch that certainly is very convincing. Kissin really plays the music as ik his life depends on it. I prefer this version above those by other famous pianists as Pollini or Fleisher. The lied transcriptions of the four Schubert songs by Liszt are simply stunning ! Not only are these great transcriptions, but they are played with a beatiful range of sounds, which goes from almost whispered till a huge explosion of sounds, like in the last strophe of "aus dem wasser zu singen". Just compare these versions even to those by Jorge Bolet, and you'll have to agree with me that these versions are of superior quality. As much as I like the first part of this disc, I can't as much appreciate the Brahms' Fantasien op.116, although I am a big fan of the music. Kissin's playing isn't just fit to Brahms's special world ( although I have to admit I greatly enjoyed his live performance of Brahms's third sonata op.5) Of course Kissin was only 18 years old at the time of the recording, and he too has matured over the years. However, these late pianoworks by Brahms require a special approach that I still haven't found on cd (Wilhelm Kempff neither satisfies me)(if anyone can recommend me a great version, please let me know)(pverelst@hotmail.com) There is something missing, cakll it maturity or whatever. This is music of an old Brahms, reflecting and thinking over his life, and maybe this music isn't to be played at age 18. The Liszt Rhapsody is more suited to Kissin, who again shows that he possesses a great technique, which certainly works well in this work. In conclusion, I can say that I don't regret having bought this disc, because of the great Schubert playing.
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I am not a big fan of Schubert in general, but the extraordinary Wanderer Fantasia is one of the greatest compositions ever created. Kissin powerful playing makes the piece extremely exciting, and the massive fugue in the end of the piece is amazing. The Listz-Schubert lieder and the Brahms fantasy are great. Finally, the ultra-virtuosic Liszt Rhapsody ends this magnificent recording.
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By A Customer on Oct. 5 1999
Format: Audio CD
To me Kissin's emotion seems contrived, as if someone told him to "play it again, this time with feeling!". There is a naturalness lacking here - a naturalness found in abundance in Brendel's and Richter's versions.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Stunning Schubert, disappointing Brahms July 18 2000
By peter verelst - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I like this disc, mostly because of the great playing Kissin offers us in the Wanderer Fantasie and the lied transcriptions of Schubert. The Schubert Wanderer Fantasie is played with an enormous drive an force, which gives this interpretation a very personal touch that certainly is very convincing. Kissin really plays the music as ik his life depends on it. I prefer this version above those by other famous pianists as Pollini or Fleisher. The lied transcriptions of the four Schubert songs by Liszt are simply stunning ! Not only are these great transcriptions, but they are played with a beatiful range of sounds, which goes from almost whispered till a huge explosion of sounds, like in the last strophe of "aus dem wasser zu singen". Just compare these versions even to those by Jorge Bolet, and you'll have to agree with me that these versions are of superior quality. As much as I like the first part of this disc, I can't as much appreciate the Brahms' Fantasien op.116, although I am a big fan of the music. Kissin's playing isn't just fit to Brahms's special world ( although I have to admit I greatly enjoyed his live performance of Brahms's third sonata op.5) Of course Kissin was only 18 years old at the time of the recording, and he too has matured over the years. However, these late pianoworks by Brahms require a special approach that I still haven't found on cd (Wilhelm Kempff neither satisfies me)(if anyone can recommend me a great version, please let me know)(pverelst@hotmail.com) There is something missing, cakll it maturity or whatever. This is music of an old Brahms, reflecting and thinking over his life, and maybe this music isn't to be played at age 18. The Liszt Rhapsody is more suited to Kissin, who again shows that he possesses a great technique, which certainly works well in this work. In conclusion, I can say that I don't regret having bought this disc, because of the great Schubert playing.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
THE GENUINE ARTICLE Aug. 14 2003
By DAVID BRYSON - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Not ANOTHER ultimate virtuoso, I thought, remembering uneasily how Horowitz was dismissive, and Michelangeli downright rude, about the younger players. So this seemed like a good mix of pieces to start getting to know Kissin, with Liszt (of course) but Schubert and Brahms at their greatest too.
There's no mistaking it, the divine spark is here and no sense of the assembly-line virtuoso that I suppose is what Horowitz and Michelangeli were complaining about. In the Wanderer Fantasy Kissin is his own man, taking a more romantic view of the first section than Richter or Pollini. As with Richter (here at his very best) there is a warmth to the playing that I miss from Pollini, and I have to say that Richter is fully equalled by the kid with all the hair gazing out solemnly from the back of the record box. Obviously Kissin has the advantage of up-to-date recorded sound, but other than that any choice between Kissin and Richter is going to be a matter of details and personal temperament, so I prefer not to choose but to have both. In the Brahms pieces I was able to compare Kissin with the classic performance from Katchen's omnibus edition, and the first thing that struck me was that Kissin is an absolute natural for Brahms. The rubato is supremely natural and the tempi in the four slow pieces are, to my ears, definitely better chosen. The first 3 intermezzi gain in eloquence from Kissin's slower speeds, and the strange and very inward E minor is genuinely played 'con intimissimo sentimento'. Katchen misses this one, I feel. The second of the two E major pieces shows up a characteristic that Katchen never quite grew out of in his all-too-short career, namely the well-meant delusion that greater 'depth', 'expressiveness', 'spirituality' or whatever is attained by playing pianissimo where the composer wrote 'piano' and playing adagio where the composer wrote 'andante'. This piece is not even andante but 'andantino' yet Katchen plays it adagio. Kissin's tempo is very reasonable as an andantino, but you might be surprised how the piece comes to life if you play it for yourself at a more flowing speed than we usually hear. In the three fast pieces I can't be so clear in my preference as both are excellent. The most striking diference is in the G minor capriccio with the central section featuring the one one and only big tune that I can recall in Brahms's solo piano music. Katchen is fast and ardent, Kissin slow and majestic. I can't make up my mind. Why should I have to?
Liszt's 4 Schubert song arrangements are wonderful. Liszt was at his best when someone else, e.g. Schubert or Verdi, provided the actual music. The power of these familiar melodies comes over in a new light, especially as played with effortless grandeur, sensitivity and flexibility by Kissin. There is also one of Liszt's own Hungarian Rhapsodies, and the playing is pretty terrific without quite persuading me, as Horowitz and Cziffra (almost) do that Liszt's original compositions are anything but absolute bobbins as music.
I shall be acquiring more of Kissin's work and listening out hard to try to catch a true individual voice as I catch it from Horowitz, Michelangeli, Richter, Serkin or Cziffra. Looking through some reviews I am pleased to see that people are keeping their critical faculties alert and not heaping on Kissin the indiscriminate plaudits that really do an injustice to Richter --he was a far more complex phenomenon than you would think to read much of it. One touch I have already noticed - Kissin understands the expressive potential of separating his hands, but as often as not plays the right hand first, which is a new one on me. I want to hear more.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful program of very fine performances by a great pianist March 6 2006
By Craig Matteson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
There is no denying the virtuosity and musical sensitivity of Yevgeny Kissin. This disk has a great deal of what Kissin offers on display. This performance of Schubert's "Wanderer Fantasie" is terrific. He shows the ability to present a large form piece coherently and with a technical ease that allows him to musically shape even the most difficult passages. While it is not my favorite recording of the work, I find this quite convincing and learned from it.

The four Schubert transcriptions by Liszt are excellently played. From the poignant ache of "Gretchen am Spinnrade" to the delightful joy of "Hark, Hark, the Lark" to the ache of the "The Miller and the Brook" and the glory of "To Sing on the Water". Kissin shows a great range and again, makes it all sound so easy.

Then Brahms Opus 116 is also an interesting choice for this disk. These are seven short works but are late Brahms and require musical maturity to go with the technique. I think I enjoy this performance of these pieces about the most I have ever heard. They are worth listening to again and again.

The last work on the disk, the Liszt "Hungarian Rhapsodie No. 12" is a problem for me. Kissin plays it with great virtuosity and each portion sounds great. However, this is not great music. I hate to say it, but it isn't. To pull it off, the pianist has to bring a sense of conviction to it. Even if he doesn't believe it himself, he has to make the audience believe that HE believes this is great music. Otherwise it comes across with a wheeze and you can here the handle cranking on the music machine. I am afraid that as well as Kissin plays the work, it did not convince me.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Magnificent Schubert Jan. 15 2002
By Frederic Sala - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I am not a big fan of Schubert in general, but the extraordinary Wanderer Fantasia is one of the greatest compositions ever created. Kissin powerful playing makes the piece extremely exciting, and the massive fugue in the end of the piece is amazing. The Listz-Schubert lieder and the Brahms fantasy are great. Finally, the ultra-virtuosic Liszt Rhapsody ends this magnificent recording.
Delightful cd! July 18 2006
By Antonia Brentano - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
On this cd Kissin shows the best sides of his talents: a great feeling for a beautiful sound and a incredible technical command which is always serving the music. If feel that some of his later recordings tend to be a bit hard in sound, but not this one.

And what a beautiful music. Highlight for me are the adagio from the Wanderer fantasy and the Schubert songs transcriptions; I simply haven't heard these played better ever!


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