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Piano Concertos No.1

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Performer: Lise De La Salle; Gulbenkian Orchestra; Foster
  • Composer: Liszt; Prokofiev; Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (Feb. 26 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nvv
  • ASIN: B000HD1OEG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #245,689 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Shostakovich: Concerto No. 1 for piano, trumpet and strings in C minor, opus 35 - Allegro
2. II Lento
3. III Moderato
4. IV Allegro con brio
5. Liszt: Piano Concerto No.1 in E flat major, s.124 - Allegro maestoso
6. II Quasi adagio
7. III Allegro vivace - allegro animato
8. IV Allegro marziale animato
9. Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No.1 in D flat major, opus 10 - Allegro brioso
10. II Andante assai
11. III Allegro scherzando

Product Description

Shostakovich, Liszt, Prokofiev: Piano Concertos

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The item has some cracks on the CD case. Needs to be examined before packed. Thanks
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa4583cf0) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa423742c) out of 5 stars "Her beautiful blue eyes are elsewhere ..." March 10 2008
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Lise de la Salle is a very young pianist from France who is getting the full-press treatment. The sentence fragment in the title, taken from the CD's booklet, goes on: "... Lise's gaze is intense and haunted." This sort of purple adman prose, coupled with the cover picture of what at first glance appears to be a porcelain doll, leads one to expect that she is simply one of those glamor babes who can't really play. Well, to the contrary, she can play very well. And indeed, having heard her in live performance, I can attest that the recordings she has made have not been manufactured in the studio. However, in reviews of previous recordings I have commented on some tendency on her part to play in a very mannered way, at least in some pieces.

This CD contains three spiritied concerti written by young composers. Both the Prokofiev and Shostakovich concerti were indeed written when they were still in conservatory. The Liszt was actually written when he was in his early forties but it was his first essay in the concerto form. All three concerti are brilliant in their effect, and in all three of them Mlle de la Salle makes a brilliant impression. She certainly has the chops for this virtuosic music. However ...

Once again we have some problems. The recorded sound becomes clattery at times. In a previous review I commented (and I heard in the recital I attended) that she never makes an ugly sound. But there are some ugly sounds on this recording and I think that must be the fault of the engineers or the piano technician. Perhaps a more mature and confident soloist would have refused to have the CD released on this account, but one can hardly expect a pianist not yet in her twenties to have that sort of presence of mind or the requisite clout with her handlers.

Also, the accompaniments by the Gulbenkian Foundation Orchestra under Lawrence Foster, while still generally musically acceptable, have more than the expected amount of poor intonation and ensemble. One wonders what these concerti would have sounded like accompanied by, say, the Vienna Philharmonic or indeed the Orchestre de Paris.

Bottom line: These performances certainly make it clear that Mlle de la Salle is a talented musician, although still somewhat callow, and that, as I've said before, she is a pianist to watch. I would venture to say that if she continues to have a career -- and how many young pianists have we seen become shooting stars, glowing briefly and then disappearing? -- she should record these three concerti again in ten or twenty years, and with a better orchestra and sound engineer. That might be something to treasure. But this issue is uneven enough, and in a field that has deep and outstanding competition, that I cannot give it more than a moderate recommendation.

Scott Morrison
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4237360) out of 5 stars What a difference a few years can make March 5 2010
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is an unfortunate recording. It serves as a debut outing for the now 21 year old Lisa de la Salle playing the perky Shostakovich, lugubrious Liszt, and sparkling Prokofiev first piano concertos, made when the young and very talented de la Salle was a mere 18 years old. Unfortunately listening to this CD now after just having heard Lisa de la Salle perform a splendid, fresh air Prokofiev No. 1 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in collaboration with conductor James Conlon reveals just how forgettable is this recording. Not that de la Salle is anything but exciting here, but the quality of the CD and the shaky, insecure, poorly tuned Libson Gulbenkian Foundation Orchestra and the lack of involvement of conductor Lawrence Foster suggests this CD be placed on the back shelf: surely this accomplished and very musical pianist will record at least the Prokofiev with a fine orchestra and conductor in the future.

As far as performance differences between this recording and the artist's current approach (at least for the Prokofiev) there is a big step upward. Her interpretation now is still full of the fleet fingered pyrotechnics, but now her conversations with the various first desk players in the orchestra are sensitive and communicative. She finds the flash but she also pauses for the poetry. Keep eyes on this young beauty - she has a strong career ahead of her. It is rewarding to hear the growth of a fine young artist this experience has granted! 4 stars for the pianist, 1 for the orchestra and conductor and engineers. Grady Harp, March 10
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4942b94) out of 5 stars A subtle challenge to Richter and Ashkenazy? Feb. 26 2008
By Jim Shine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This was a wonderful way of reacquainting myself with 3 concertos I hadn't heard in a while. Lise de la Salle, 18 when she recorded these, has already received much acclaim for her solo discs but this is the first full album of hers that I've heard.
Prokofiev wrote his first concerto when he was 21, so in the age sense at least de la Salle is an excellent match. The opening here, that memorable theme, seemed less huge than I remembered it, though still dramatic. Subsequently going back to the Ashkenazy-LSO-Previn recording confirmed my memory and highlighted what it is that de la Salle and her coperformers bring to the table. Ashkenazy and Previn play the concerto big, as one of the masterpieces of the repertoire, with all the gestures that entails. But with de la Salle and Lawrence Foster I get the impression that this is 21-year-old Prokofiev, who hasn't yet become one of the great composers - we're not looking at the music retrospectively, as it were, filtered through everything else we know of his work. That means the cheekiness of the work comes across more in the present performance - it's not part of the musical establishment yet. The recorded balance between piano and orchestra is also a factor, though: de la Salle is much more integrated. So at around 2:50 in the first movement, there's a moment where the orchestra sounds like it's trying to muscle past the piano but gets brushed aside - funny in de la Salle's performance, hardly noticeable in Ashkenazy's. What fascinates me, as it always does, is how 2 very different performances of a work can ultimately be equally valid. If you have a particular view of this concerto then you might not like de la Salle's version but I had an awful lot of fun.
It's the same story with the Liszt. Richter-LSO-Kondrashin give it everything, it's magnificent and brash, and it sounds exactly like you expect a Liszt piano concerto to sound. But I listen to the new recording and I'm compelled to ask "but what if I didn't know what to expect?" It's a much less Romantic view of the music, less vivid, less flamboyant... and yet I find it works wonderfully. There's a sort of subtlety to it that, like in the Prokofiev, cuts across my preconceived notion of Liszt. I also found a certain impishness there that I wasn't expecting. You might disagree, but my point is that there's plenty of room for both ideas.
Which leaves Shostakovich. I don't know if there is a "classic" performance of this like there is with the other concertos; the recording I have is Brautigam-RCO-Chailly. Again, the new recording scores lower on brashness but higher on sound picture and on beauty - the piano entry in the slow movement is gorgeously Mozartian.
So what do we have overall? Three short, showy concertos that I suspect you couldn't listen to consecutively in the 3 comparative versions I've mentioned - it would just be a little too intense, I think. But this single disc manages to combine them perfectly by toning down the raucousness and adding some sensitivity that's at times unexpected. Absolutely recommended as a second recording of each piece or as a great package for first-time buyers.
10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4242a8c) out of 5 stars Mannered, idiosyncratic playing and inert conducting April 4 2008
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Astonishing critical opinions are common enough, especially from The Gramophone, but their piano expert greeted Lisa de la Salle's present CD with unmitigated joy -- and I found it nearly unlistenable. To her credit, the extremely fleet-fingered de la Salle, age 19, doesn't bang and harangue us. She's not out to be the next Argerich but almost the oppiste, a Gallic will-o-the-wisp. But cascades of light, pearly, luminous notes get tiresome after a very short while.

I can almost admire her attempt to drain the Liszt First Cto. of bombast, but let's face it, that's the nature of the score. The Shostakovich First is meant to be cheeky, vivacious, and urbane despite the circus-band atmosphere. Under the prosaic Norman Foster there's no atmoosphere at all, and de la Salle on her own can't find a point of view. Accounts by Bronfman and Argerich leave her in the shade. The best thing on this CD is the Prokofiev First, where de la Salle finds more muscle and thrust, but the Gulbenkian Foundation Orch. of Lisbon is barely second rate, and once again Foster offers little in the way of style or shape in the orchestral part.

There's a good deal of charm in de la Salle's playing as such,, but she's not helped by the pingy, clattery sound or by much else on this CD.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa447c138) out of 5 stars Electrifying -- no beige at all March 5 2010
By Mozart lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I turned on the car radio in the middle of Lise de la Salle's Liszt no. 1 today, so I had no idea who was playing. I was absolutely electrified and had to pull over to listen better. This is a concerto I have known very well since childhood and have heard numberless times from numberless pianists. The combination of sensitivity and power in this performance was utterly satisfying. She made the listener feel this concerto was from the top drawer, which we all know it isn't really. She is not afraid of intensity -- intense lyricism when Liszt wants it, huge power when he asks for it, no beige at all. I loved it and was smiling for hours afterwards.