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Works for Piano and Orchestra Hybrid SACD

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Product Details

  • Performer: Oppitz; Bamberger Symphoniker; Bayerische Staatsphilharmonie; Andreae
  • Composer: Schumann Robert
  • Audio CD (April 24 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD
  • Label: Tud
  • ASIN: B006W3HCAA
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #311,983 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

During his short and turbulent life, Robert Schumann often composed as if in a trance. This exuberance, this impulsivity is particularly apparent in his works for piano and orchestra, all closely connected to his love for Clara Wieck. - "A cross between symphony, concerto and great sonata, not a concerto for the virtuoso" was his aim - and this is brilliantly realized; however, these works require a virtuoso with nimble, as well as strong and sensitive fingers, a pianist able to recreate Schumann's unique romantic world. Gerhard Oppitz achieves this in exemplary fashion, flawlessly mastering the technical demands in an interpretation imbued with a very personal passion for one of our greatest composers - all the while supported by and in dialogue with an orchestra ideally suited to his vision: the Bamberger Symphoniker.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa37f8480) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
HASH(0xa3751aec) out of 5 stars Excellent SACD Collection of Schumann Piano Orchestral Works Jan. 17 2016
By JAC - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very enjoyable SACD containing four Schumann Piano Orchestral works with the Bamberg Symphony, conducted by Marc Andreae with pianist Gerhard Oppitz. The SACD starts with the Piano Concerto in A-Minor which is, in my opinion, justifiably often cited as one of the “greatest” or “best” 10 or 20 piano concertos. To my ear the performance is good but neither great nor inspired. By that I mean if I attend a concert I would be thoroughly pleased with the performance but when buying a CD or SACD, which I will hopefully be wanting to play many times again, I look for something more. That “something more” – an inspired and moving performance -- can be found in the RCA Red Seal SACD with Van Cliburn the pianist and Fritz Reiner conducting the Chicago Symphony. Amazingly, that SACD contains a performance from the early 1960s but the entity that handled the transition to the SACD format did such a good job it is difficult to tell it is was originally recorded in the early 1960s. EMI also issued an SACD with Sviatoslav Richter as the pianist from the mid-1970s. While I find Richter’s performance (slightly) preferable to Oppitz’s, there are several instances where, to my ear, it is evident that the original recording has been converted to SACD and it sounds unnatural considering how Richter had been playing up that point and how the A-Minor Concerto progresses. Moreover, several of those instances occur at particularly beautiful points in the concerto. The Andreae/Oppitz recording is recent (2010) and contains no such shortcomings. Moreover, it’s A-Minor Concerto is very enjoyable and when considering the quality of SACD recording issues mentioned above in the Richter EMI version, I prefer Andreae/Oppitz’s version of the A-Minor Concerto (please note – the EMI SACD also contains Richter’s performance of Grieg’s Piano Concerto which is marvelous, having no such technical/recording issues, making that EMI SACD worth purchasing for the Grieg Piano Concerto).

Being extremely fond of the A-Minor Concerto and already having the Cliburn and Richter SACDs, I purchased this SACD hoping that the additional Schumann Piano Orchestral works would provide at least some of the attributes that make the A-Minor Concerto so enjoyable. Those three additional works are, while neither renowned nor great, enjoyable and I have the sense they will grow on me over time. Thus, considering all the selections on this SACD, am glad to have added this SACD to my collection and would recommend it to those who enjoy Schumann’s A-Minor Concerto or his Symphonies.
HASH(0xa373ad08) out of 5 stars Somewhat enjoyable just once, but too bland for repeated listening March 4 2016
By David E Rowe - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I agree very much with JAC's review. But, as I also found the entire collection rather ho-hum and uninspired, I am less generous with awarding stars than he is.

I need not go into great detail, as JAC did a great job doing that (and I agree with his much more recommendable suggested alternatives). But I'll summarize by saying that while the playing itself is of high quality, the recording and performances alike are overly warm, overly Romantic, overly smooth and lack sparkle and life. The Tudor recording is as much to blame as the performers for the blandness heard here.

It was fine listening to just once. But, tellingly, I drifted off out of the room almost immediately and began sweeping the floor while it was playing. That pretty much says it all.

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