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Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2, Liszt: Piano Pieces

Yutaka Sado , Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin , Nobuyuki Tsujii Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2, Liszt: Piano Pieces + Chopin: Piano Concerto N 1, 12 Etudes Op.10. Berceuse Op.57 (Nobuyuki Tsujii) + Nobuyuki Tsujii - Gold Medalist - Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (Live Recording)
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Product details

  • Performer: Nobuyuki Tsujii
  • Orchestra: Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
  • Conductor: Yutaka Sado
  • Audio CD (24 Jan 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Challenge Classics
  • ASIN: B004BQ4KS2
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,462 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Piano Concerto no. 2 in c minor, op. 18: ModeratoNobuyuki Tsujii, Yutaka Sado, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin11:11Album Only
Listen  2. Piano Concerto no. 2 in c minor, op. 18: Adagio SostenutoNobuyuki Tsujii, Yutaka Sado, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin11:20Album Only
Listen  3. Piano Concerto no. 2 in c minor, op. 18: Allegro scherzandoNobuyuki Tsujii, Yutaka Sado, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin11:58Album Only
Listen  4. Liebestraum no. 3Nobuyuki Tsujii 4:090.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Mephisto Waltz no. 1Nobuyuki Tsujii11:10Album Only
Listen  6. Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2Nobuyuki Tsujii 9:580.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Award-winning blind pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii makes his first recording for Challenge Classics with conductor Yutaka Sado and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin on a disc that includes Sergei Rachmaninov's much-loved Piano Concerto No. 2 and three popular pieces for solo piano by Franz Liszt. Nobuyuki Tsujii will be performing Rchmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Yutaka Sado and the BBC Philharmonic at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall on February 11. Blind since birth, 21-year-old Nobuyuki Tsujii was joint-winner of the Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2009. Since winning the competition he has appeared at the Aspen Music Festival, and the Ravinia Festival, and given recitals throughout the U.S.A. He has worked with conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Yutaka Sado and Vladimir Spivakov. Future plans include appearances with the BBC Philharmonic, Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, and recitals in Berlin, Belgrade and Basel. Nobuyuki Tsujii has made a number of recordings for Avex Classics including an all-Chopin recital disc, and a live DVD recording of his 2008 solo recital at Suntory Hall. After having spent three years of creative hardship without writing anything, the composition of the Second Piano Concerto restored Rachmaninov's confidence in his creative abilities, and the first complete performance of the wiork in 1901 brought him great and lasting success. Franz Liszt was a multi-faceted musical genius, and the solo piano pieces featured here cover several aspects of this. The disc includes the celebrated Hungarian Rhapsody No.2, as well as Liebestraum No. 3 and the First Mephisto Waltz. Personnel: Nobuyuki Tsujii (piano), Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Yutaka Sado (conductor)

Product Description

CC 72371; CHALLENGE CLASSICS - Olanda; Classica Orchestrale per Piano

Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unleashed youthful energy 17 July 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Rich, emotional and challenging, this recording is well worth purchasing. I heard it first on BBC 3 while driving and had to pull over, so mesmerising is Tsujii's positive playing and forceful but sensitive interpretation.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful 25 July 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A wonderful piece of music played brilliantly from somebody who has been blind since birth, It always amazes me that anyone can play any piece of music from memory an so overcoming what to many of us would seem an impossible obstacle makes his achievements even more remarkable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! 22 Jun 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
My friend saw this performed on the Proms last year. The Rachmaninov brought tears to her eyes. What a pianist! And with so many disabilities. He's a total inspiration to all!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing pianist 4 Jun 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Saw a performance of the Rachmaninoff by this pianist who is totally blind. Yutaka was sensitive and amazing. I have heard this music so many times but this performance was the best.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DSO. Sado. Nobuyuki Tsujii: Rach 2 / Liszt: .... beyond sensationalism, A Young Master? ???.... 12 Jan 2013
By drdanfee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Given the media attention hyping up young Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii, co-winner of the gold medal at Van Cliburn brutally challenging piano competition, the real question has to be: How is the music coming across? Fortunately in this case, we are so far beyond stunts and headline-grabs (Clement, the virtuoso, played his new fiddle piece with his violin held upside down !!! right in the middle of the premiere concert of Beethoven's Violin Concerto.), that we can sit back and relish how this young player just lets go, and really digs into the music he plays. Blind from birth, Tsujii started winning prizes in Japan as early as seven years old. That would tell us something, perhaps, except that the real deal message is how the grown up young man serves the great music he performs, nowadays.

In Rachmaninoff's second piano concerto, Tsujii is partnered by the DSO (Berlin) led by Yutaka Sado. The triple threat of DSO, Sado, and Tsujii proves more than a passing phenom, though understandably Japan may be proud of how it recognized and supported Tsujii as something of a child prodigy, not to mention exporting a talent like Sado to, say, the Orchestre de Concerts Lamoureux.

My top choice in this concerto has been Yevgeny Kissin with Gergiev leading the orchestra (LSO). Of course many things in that reading are right, but the pacing and phrasing that Kissin and Gergiev bring together, almost as if one, are so especially suited to the Slavic Soul of this composer that although a great many other deserving players come close, nobody else quite seemed to my ears to have gotten into the recording studio at a moment of (fairly early) peak ripening as Kissin/Gergiev. Now I hear a similar very palpable unity of musical grip and purpose between Tsujii and Sado, channeled through a DSO that sounds tip top in alertness and ensemble. For once, any hints of sogginess or over-ripeness in the Rachmaninoff accompaniment across all three movements are completely lacking. The orchestra and its many different passing soloistic instrumental moments are one lyrical-dramatic musical flow. Then add Tsujii's piano to that tide. Beautiful, folks, just beautiful.

Tsujii has a unique kind of physical interaction with his instrument, too. He both inhabits his piano or lets it occupy and draw him into the physical machine, the outcome being a kind of bear-pawed virtuoso presence that I don't think we have heard on recordings since perhaps, Lazar Berman. Whether because of advances in our recording arts or because of even more careful microphone placement, Tsujii's immense physical touch never turns hard or brittle as sound passes into the master file. Oh, that Berman had been given that last four drops of engineering care, along with having been let into far more concerto recordings that he eventually left us as legacy.

In any case, Tsujii and Sado are so united in their shared sense of the music's flow that you might swear the ghost of the composer must have been hovering about the session, flickering like a miasma line of electric musical connection between pianist and conductor. There is simply not one moment when anything in the piano or the orchestra sounds over-written. Tsujii's technical wizardry is such that he more than surmounts the challenges. Tsujii lets every shifting, kaleidoscopic cascade of Rachmaninoff notes spin off like abundant rainbow spectrum sparks, struck from a single underlying basic beat that is also carrying DSO and Sado forward in the same airy (or striding, muscular) momentum.

This devotion to the music of the second concerto works so well all through! The transition from slow second movement to Allegro Scherzando third movement can grow tweaky and awkward, even with some rather famous pianists accompanied by jet-setting conductors, but here the composer's gear changes are simply inevitable-sounding. Ditto for the uptakes of tempo and breath, only then to be followed more broadly as Rachmaninoff has the concerto's music pulse out in that familiar ebb and flow which nevertheless seeks a further narrative-dramatic direction. For once, all the strands of the music are gathered up and played whole, no unraveling of melody from harmony from rhythm, especially from rhythm as basic pulse. Within this compelling unanimity, neither Sado and the orchestra, nor Tsujii brush by or blur any of the endless detail and busy-ness which Rachmaninoff seems nearly always to have heard as he committed lines, notes, bar-lines to music paper.

Like encores after a concerto reading that has gotten the audience to fall in love, Tsujii serves up three additional solo piano pieces by Franz Liszt. The Liebestraum 3 is just right, not too fast, not to slow, not too sappy, not rushed or heartless. Then the Mephisto Waltz 1 takes off like a fireworks rocket, bursting into shards of color and virtuosity, rather as one imagines Liszt intended to happen.

The all too familiar Lisztian keyboard habits ... like octaves, high-low keyboard extremes, oscillations, roulades, and tremored octaves ... sound ... and oh boy, do these keyboard habits sound ... inevitable! Musical! Articulate! Even the piano imitations of a Hungarian cymbalom in the rhapsody seem neither banal nor bathetic. By the time Tsujii has finished the last piece, Hungarian Rhapsody 2, we are mostly convinced that Tsujii is that blessed and welcome and rare gift, a compleat Liszt virtuoso who reveals these piano pieces as music above all. Tsujii's cadenza in the rhapsody is so idiomatic, by the way, that unless a listener is following the score of the rhapsody as the disc spins, one may assume that Liszt not Tsujii, was the composer.

I hardly could repress an urge to stand up and applaud in my living room at the end of this disc. But I stifled myself by taking some comfort and encouragement from the fact that I had already ordered other Tsujii discs on release, so he would be returning to the home big rig, soon and sooner.

Gee I can't wait to hear more. More solo piano playing. More piano concerto playing. For sure I would get Sado and Tsujii with DSO back into the studio in the hear future, to finish off those Rachmaninoff concertos, one by one by one by one. And just imagine what a marvelous Paganini Rhapsody we would get to charm and dazzle as a culmination of those sessions. Then we could hang toothy and hungering, for the two Liszt piano concertos? Then ... Tchaikovsky, Grieg, ....one wishes Tsujii well and very well and especially well. (My own little nit pickiness? I'll take Tsujii over Lang Lang any day of the week, shhh.) How do you say, Stars? In Japanese?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The guy can really play the piano! 10 May 2013
By Don D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I first heard Tsujii at a concert and got three CDs to see if what I heard at at the concert was real. IT IS and these recordings are all excellent. I have never seen anybody play the piano with the intensity and musicality like this. It sounds like an entire orchestra and sucks you right into the performance.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 24 Mar 2013
By Joan Butler - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I had just seen Nobu in concert at Bass Hall in Fort Worth. He was so charming and his work so fantastic, that I had to purchase this album. Well worth it.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rachmaninov 2 by Nobuyuki Tsujii 1 Nov 2012
By Patricia Lee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I fell in love with Nobuyuki when he won the last Cliburn gold medal; his playing touches the listener's heart. He has not just the technical skill, but the emotion that really does this piece justice.
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