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Piano Concerto (Brendel/Gielen) Import


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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Chm Sym No.1, Op.9
  2. Con for Pno & Orch, Op.42: Andante
  3. Con for Pno & Orch, Op.42: Molto allegro
  4. Con for Pno & Orch, Op.42: Adagio
  5. Con for Pno & Orch, Op.42: Giocoso (Moderato)-Stretto
  6. Chm Sym No.2, Op.38: 1. Adagio
  7. Chm Sym No.2, Op.38: 2. Con fuoco

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x98408078) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x983148b8) out of 5 stars Wonderful -- Schoenberg would've been delighted! 9 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This is a fabulous recording of Schoenberg's PianoConcerto -- even better than Brendel's DG recording of it (also withGielen), and much better than Pollini's recording with Abbado (whichmarries muddy textures with a dry interpretation). I love the flowing tempi, most especially so in the first movement, where the Wiener Gemutlichkeit really comes through. The last movement's many moods ("life goes on" says Schoenberg, implying a strange mix of carefree-ness and unease) are brought to the fore very vividly. This is a very rich score, with Schoenberg's typically complicated harmonic movement and counterpoint -- but Gielen and Brendel tackle it well, and the end result is surprisingly clear (compare the Pollini-Abbado recording, which is so constricted it gives me headaches!). Ax and Salonen give a marginally more impassioned account of the third movement in their recording (Sony), but don't do as well as Brendel and Gielen overall. This is without a doubt the finest recording of Schoenberg's Piano Concerto currently available. However, let me warn you that Uchida and Boulez are planning to record the piece soon, so it might be worth waiting for that to come out. Judging from Uchida's stellar recording (better than Pollini's!) of Schoenberg's Op. 11 Klavierstucke (in her volume of the "Great Pianists of the 20th Century"), she probably has a lot to say about the Piano Concerto. The Chamber Symphonies? They get good performances here, though the Second Chamber Symphony is a hard one to bring off, and Gielen doesn't completely succeed. But don't be discouraged -- the rest of the disc is wonderful.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98314cfc) out of 5 stars fabulous recording 14 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Brendel's performance of Schoenberg's concerto is masterful, capturing both the work's lyrical and dramatic elements in an interpretation that is bound to remain a classic for decades to come. Too bad that he has not recorded other solo piano works of Schoenberg. Gielen, too, provides solid backing in the concerto, and forceful readings of the other works.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x983148a0) out of 5 stars Brendel plays with conviction, but a word of warning 9 Oct. 2011
By dysfunctional-harmony - Published on Amazon.com
First of all, Schoenberg's works are an essential part of the orchestral repertoire, but they aren't for everybody. They can be dissonant, complex, and in the wrong performer's hands, listless and unrewarding. But in the right hands, his works can sparkle with an otherworldly aura rarely heard since, or spring with an unrelenting rhythmic energy utterly different from that of Stravinsky.

But I find that in a few of these performances such elements are missing more often than not, particularly in the oft-neglected Chamber Symphony No.2, Op.39. The first movement sounds rushed, and the second one is sloppy and unmusical. I recommend the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra's performance or Jeffrey Tate's spectacular EMI traversal instead. In First Chamber Symphony he tries too hard to make the cellos and violas sound strained when he doesn't really have to. Again I would recommend the Orpheus disc or the one Tate's performance is coupled with, Simon Rattle's. They are both far better than this one.

As for the Piano Concerto, the performance by Alfred Brendel is spectacular. The orchestral accompaniment is great, and his playing is idiomatic and exciting. His expressionistic style is altogether different from Uchida, who takes a more classical approach, so it's well worth having both. They complement each other nicely.

Overall this is a disc worth hearing for Brendel's Piano Concerto, though its disc mates are simply business-as-usual.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98314d44) out of 5 stars A masterpiece that will last long after "denis" is dust 11 Dec. 1999
By John Harrington - Published on Amazon.com
For decades spoil sports like "denisdiderot" below have been attacking Schoenberg's 12 tone system, saying, for example, that his music has no relation to "natural acoustics" and to the way "human beings make sense of sound". Well, last I checked, I'm a human being, one who happens to love this music, and I join musicians and music enthusiasts around the globe in praise of Schoenberg's work. The music of a "mediocre musical talent" doesn't last 50 years after his death. A talentless hack is forgotten. Schoenberg hasn't been forgotten and never will be. I dare say, though the real Denis Diderot is certainly remembered, the person below using Diderot's name as an alias will be forgotten shortly after his own death. Schoenberg will live on in the hearts and minds of musicians and music lovers everywhere as he does today.
Brendel's interpretation of the piano concerto deserves its high status among music fans (this is not his first recording of the concerto). His famed objective style is perfectly suited to the music--and Michael Gielen is one of the two or three best conductors of 20th century music we have.
Schoenberg's music is not for everyone, but then there's a lot in music that isn't for everyone. Try to accept that, though you may not connect with this composer, there are many who honestly do, and you may be missing something.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98316084) out of 5 stars Respose to denisdiderot 2 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
While you almost have to admire denisdiderot's quixotic quest to singlehandedly roll back the twentieth century, you'll find he presents these attacks on a whole variety of Schoenberg discs. I find it somewhat surprising that someone so vehemently opposed to Schoenberg would go to the trouble to listen to so much of his works.
However, for fans of twentieth-century music and Schoenberg in particular, this is a terrific CD.
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