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Eleventh Van Cliburn International Competition - Olga Kern

Olga Kern Audio CD

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Buy the MP3 album for £7.99 at the Amazon Digital Music Store.

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Piano Sonata No.9, Op.68 - "Black Mass" 8:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Isolde's Liebestod (from Tristan und Isolde) 7:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Sonata for Piano, Op.26: I. Allegro energico 7:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Sonata for Piano, Op.26: II. Allegro vivace e leggero 1:49£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Sonata for Piano, Op.26: III. Adagio mesto 4:56£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Sonata for Piano, Op.26: IV. Fuga 4:01£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Impromptu in B-Flat Major, D.935, No.3 7:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Impronta Digitale 6:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Réminiscences de Don Juan16:40Album Only

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
32 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In response... 20 July 2002
By George - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I'd have to say that, being from a younger, more receptive generation, my opinion of Ms. Kern is that of great regard. Having audited masterclasses and been to concerts, seeing her interact on the personal and professional level, it is easy to see that Ms. Kern's ability to project and produce in her abilities are much greater (and evidently more taken for granted) than other reviews would like to give her credit. Bravissima, Ms. Kern.
13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic--See her, buy the album! 15 Jan 2006
By Douglas R. Mcgrath - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I was entralled with Olga Kern's performance when I saw her in San Jose several years ago. I was also incredibly lucky to be one of the students for her masterclass the following evening. To be honest, I wasn't that familiar with a number of the pieces she played in her recital, but I thought they were nothing short of amazing. She is a powerhouse, and my personal experience with her showed her to be a wonderfully kind, patient, and very witty person with simply phenomenal musicianship. Highly, highly recommended.
19 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winner playing with fire 20 Dec 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
A sensational pianist at the beginning of what will clearly be an important career.Lots of fire and real musicianship.
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Virtuosa of new type 21 Sep 2008
By K. MIURA - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
11th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
Olga Kern
Recirded: 2001
harmonia mundi usa

SCRIABIN: Piano Sonata No.9, Op. 68, "Black Mass"
WAGNER - LISZT: Isolde's Liebestod (from Tristan und Isolde)
BARBER: Sonata for Piano, Op. 26
SCHUBERT: Impromptu in B-flat major, D. 935, No. 3
JUDITH LANG ZAIMONT: Impronta Digitale
LISZT: Reminiscences de Don Juan

If someone requested the excuse of the extreme of her performances from her, about difficult pieces of SCRIABIN, BARBER and JUDITH LANG ZAIMONT in this CD, she would answer as follows: "It is not my responsibility that my performance is extreme. Moreover, it is not composer's responsibility either. It is because of the score."
7 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't people have ears? 12 Jan 2010
By Mithrandir - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
These other reviewers must have heard a different recording. Or else they know absolutely nothing about either good piano playing or the particular compositions that were recorded. I suppose if you like lots of harsh banging to cover up lots of wrong notes, you'll like this recording and Olga Kern. Maybe she and Lang Lang can open up a boutique for hopelessly overrated pianists who profit from the ignorance of today's audiences. They can have a portrait of "bang-bang" bombast Michael Ponti on the wall.

The featured review by Stephen Wigler shares some of these sentiments but is more diplomatic. He talks, for example, about her excelling in the "lesser" repertoire. Apart from the fact that this reviewer unaccountably puts Barber's very fine Piano Sonata in that category, what is he trying to say? That Olga Kern sucks in mainstream piano repertory? But he doesn't want to say that because it won't help sell this lemon of a recording?

The Scriabin 9th performance is utterly incoherent, even apart from the surfeit of wrong notes. The Barber lacks grace and musicianship. The Liszt Reminiscences de Don Juan is stodgy, as is the transcription of Wagner's Liebestod. I doubt that anyone will be buying this disc solely for the Zaimont (which arguably DOES qualify as "lesser" repertory).

In short -- Save your money. Far, far superior performances of the foregoing works are readily available elsewhere.

I don't know what the Cliburn judges saw in her, other than her blonde hair and her youth. But she wasn't competing to be a model now, was she?
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