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Les 2 Concertos pour piano
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Descriptions du produit
Kovacevich is on fire in these recordings.Visceral,inspired,spiritual and sensual,his Brahms balances on the edge,yet reaches profound repose for slow movements. Performance ***** Recording **** --BBC Music Magazine,Oct 2010
This superb two- disc reissue is a timely reminder-if such a reminder was necessary-of Stephen Kovacevich's statue as one of the great musicians of our time.His Brahms concertos with Colin Davis(recorded in 1979) have always stood the test of time and once more take their place among the finest recordings. EDITORS CHOICE --Gramophone awards issue,2010
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This is a monster of a performance. Strong, powerful, confident, full of vigor and then surprisingly textured in spots. The Adagio in Concerto #1 is absolutely sublime with rich and sometimes aching emotion, but never sentimental. Kovacevich's power he puts forth in both Concertos blows you away. It may be mistaken as banging in some parts, but that is due more to the recording itself which is poorly engineered with much too much low register which smothers the mid and higher registers at times.
Davis does a stellar job in both concertos with the LSO as any conductor must with these two pieces. They are almost as much symphonies as they are concertos. He brings a nice balance between the strings, horns, & woodwinds, although sometimes hard to hear due the aformentioned sound quality.
I wasn't expecting much due to the fact that I do not have any of Kovacevich's recordings outside Bartok's Piano Concerto's #1-3 which I have not listened to in years. I will have to do that next to see how he does more than 100 years later. So needless to say, I HIGHLY recommend this set of Brahms Piano Concertos. It should take it's place amongst the best company such as Fleisher/Szell, Rubinstein/Reiner, Curzon/Szell, & Horowitz/Toscanini.
The second movement of the First Concerto, conceived by Brahms as a tribute to his later mentor Robert Schumann, is played elegiacally; I got goosebumps. The string and wind playing in this recording is a real tribute to the talents of the LSO in the 1970s.
There are recordings of the two Brahms concerti with Kovacevich backed by Wolfgang Sawallisch and The Philharmonia; the present recordings are actually, to my taste, more expansive and dramatic than those. The Second Concerto, which benefits from Davis' and Kovacevich's management of the work's architecture, is one of the better readings I've ever heard. In some ways it reminded me of the old recording by Dame Myra Hess and then I remembered that indeed Kovacevich (then known as Stephen Bishop) was a pupil of Hess's.
As for the solo works included, I hadn't heard the Op. 4 Scherzo in years and was pleased to hear Kovacevich's brilliant account. Of course, he is known as a fine Brahms player and both the Op. 10 Ballades and the Op. 76 Klavierstücke bear that out.
This set is budget-priced and worth every penny. A winner.
Philips recorded the two Piano Concertos in 1979, with the Second Concerto initially sounding better than the First. Remastered on this 2010 Newton Classics set, however, I hear little of the bass overhang in the First that I noticed years ago fogging over the midrange. The only thing is that in both works, the piano is a little more forward than I like, the instrument seeming a tad bigger than the accompanying orchestra.
John J. Puccio