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Totentanz, Petrarch Sonnets/Piano Concerto No.1 [Hybrid SACD, SACD]

Sergio Tiempo , Tchaikovsky , Franz Liszt , Alexander Rabinovitch-Barakovsky , Ion Marin , et al. Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Orchestra Della Svizzeria Italiana
  • Conductor: Alexander Rabinovitch-Barakovsky, Ion Marin
  • Composer: Tchaikovsky, Franz Liszt
  • Audio CD (9 Sep 2013)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: Avanti
  • ASIN: B005JA8N14
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 235,629 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Dance of the Dead - Sergio Tiempo/Orchestra della Svizzeria Italiana - Sergio Tiempo/Orchestra della Svizzeria Italiana
2. Petrarch Sonnets - Sergio Tiempo/Orchestra della Svizzeria Italiana - Sergio Tiempo/Orchestra della Svizzeria Italiana
3. Piano Concerto No. 1 - Sergio Tiempo/Orchestra della Svizzeria Italiana - Sergio Tiempo/Orchestra della Svizzeria Italiana

Product Description

Review

Sergio Tiempo is one of the leading pianists of our time, and this interesting disc of Liszt and Tchaikovsky finds him on good form in repertoire that suits him admirably. Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No.1 may be one of the best loved of all his compositions, and of all piano concertos too, but it is also one of the most Lisztian of Tchaikovsky's works. He admired the earlier master and frequently turned towards him as an example, so to couple the concerto as here with music by Liszt is an eminently suitable choice. Tiempo galvanises the performance with a thrilling opening phrase, and though the relationship with the orchestra doesn't sustain this kind of frisson throughout, the performance always sounds well. The vivacity of the finale and above all, the charm of the central movement, bring many moments to savour. Liszt's Totentanz, first performed by Hans von Bülow at The Hague in 1865, is the master's greatest work for piano and orchestra, despite the two concertos. It takes the form of a powerful set of variations on the Medieval plainchant the Dies Irae, which Liszt first encountered in the finale of Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, of which he made a notable piano transcription. Tiempo s live performance has real electricity, with slightly faster tempi than the benchmark recording by Krystian Zimerman (DG 423 571-2) but rather less rhythmic bite. This may be down to the relative lack of depth in the recorded sound, but either way Tiempo's performance is highly rewarding, with a good piano-orchestra balance and a satisfying collaboration of intent. Perhaps the highlight of the disc comes in the three Petrarch Sonnets from the second book of Années de Pèlerinage, a collection inspired by literary sources. The piano sound does full justice to Tiempo s control of dynamic shadings, while his command of line and keyboard texture is no less impressive. Terry Barfoot --MusicWeb

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some great Reviews 21 Feb 2012
Format:Audio CD
Gramophone Choice, B.M., April 2012

`...In both Liszt's Totentanz and Tchaikovsky's First piano Concerto, [Sergio Tiempo] more than fulfills his early and extraordinary promises. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that he may well be the most dazzling and spontaneous pianist of his generation. At every point he turns the heat up to near boiling point, joyfully and unapologetically flaunting his virtuoso bird-of-paradise feathers. His octave technique is superhuman: try the famous cannonade of octaves in the first movement of the Tchaikovsky,... Every bar sparks with a fearless, vivid and audacious life, and no other recent version of the Tchaikovsky comes within distance of this.Tiempo's endless pianistic resource is no less evident in Liszt's Petrarch Sonnets, their florid emotional live,..., ideally suited to such volatility and imagination. Well recorded and accompanied, with the pianist's own playful and perpective essay, this is a record in a thousand'.

International Record Review, N.S., February 2012

`...Tiempo does indeed live for the moment, and the two concerto works are exciting and exhilarating in the extreme. Totentanz is exceptionally finely crafted, with faultless ensemble with conductor Ion Marin, and Tiempo copes with fiendish demands with light touch and crystalline clarity. Too often this is a heavy and bombastic work which sinks under its own weight, both in the musical content and the thickness of the scoring, both orchestral and pianistic, but there is none of this here. This is certainly a version to return to, with all the thrill and spontaneity of a live performance and a very impressive collaboration...
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some great Reviews 21 Feb 2012
By Frederic Grun - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Gramophone Choice, B.M., April 2012

`...In both Liszt's Totentanz and Tchaikovsky's First piano Concerto, [Sergio Tiempo] more than fulfills his early and extraordinary promises. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that he may well be the most dazzling and spontaneous pianist of his generation. At every point he turns the heat up to near boiling point, joyfully and unapologetically flaunting his virtuoso bird-of-paradise feathers. His octave technique is superhuman: try the famous cannonade of octaves in the first movement of the Tchaikovsky,... Every bar sparks with a fearless, vivid and audacious life, and no other recent version of the Tchaikovsky comes within distance of this.Tiempo's endless pianistic resource is no less evident in Liszt's Petrarch Sonnets, their florid emotional live,..., ideally suited to such volatility and imagination. Well recorded and accompanied, with the pianist's own playful and perpective essay, this is a record in a thousand'.

International Record Review, N.S., February 2012

`...Tiempo does indeed live for the moment, and the two concerto works are exciting and exhilarating in the extreme. Totentanz is exceptionally finely crafted, with faultless ensemble with conductor Ion Marin, and Tiempo copes with fiendish demands with light touch and crystalline clarity. Too often this is a heavy and bombastic work which sinks under its own weight, both in the musical content and the thickness of the scoring, both orchestral and pianistic, but there is none of this here. This is certainly a version to return to, with all the thrill and spontaneity of a live performance and a very impressive collaboration... Tiempo's impetuousness (in Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto) is undeniably exciting , driving through the finale's molto meno mosso into the Coda with an unmarked accelerando...
Tiempo's Totentanz is especially impressive, but the solos Liszt works are finer still. Tiempo is not hidebound by barlines and regularity of metre, and there's a degree of rhythmic waywardness and freedom which allows him to unfold these works in an improvisatory manner. This is matched by a full-blooded tone, never forced, and pedaling of real subtlety, with the filigree passagework on the `Sonetto 104' totally clear, while the opening of `Sonetto 47' is a model of colouring, the shade of the oscillating left-hand chords contrasting with the light of the right-hand melody.
With so many performances these days that are somewhat conservative and predictable, it's wonderful to encounter a young firebrand who has so much to say, with a prodigious technique married with the widest range of tone and colour'.

The Sunday Time, S.P., 22 January 2012

`The two works here involving the orchestra were recorded live at Lugano Festival in 2004 and 2005, and show a pianist of electrifying brilliance. Liszt's Totentanz is, of course, all demonic brilliance - Tiempo attacks with ebullient swagger... The finale (of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto) bristles with excitement.'

The Independent, A.P., 29 January 2012

"A strong sense of lyricism and a taut technique colour Sergio Tiempo's live recording of Liszt's Totentanz and Tre Sonetti...and Tchaikovsky's first Piano Concerto... the hurtling passions and moments of introversion in the Tchaikovsky are cleverly navigated."

The Daily Telegraph, G.N., January 2012

`An exciting, full-blooded performance of Liszt's Totentanz, recorded live in 2004 ..., finds [Venezuelan pianist Sergio Tiempo] fully in command of the music's technical and stylistic facets. Confidence, dynamism, and personality also emanate from Tchaikovsky's First Concerto, recorded the following year : Tiempo and his conductor Rabinovitch-Barakovsky are certainly not afraid of exploring fresh interpretative avenues that contribute to a genuine feeling of spontaneity. The three Petrarch Sonnets attest to Tiempo's sensitivity and limpid touch.'

Sacd.net, J.B., 06/01/2012

" ...this is virtuosity at the service of poetic art and Tiempo provides poetry and art in spades. Very high class playing indeed." (about the Petrarch Sonnets)

Other great releases :
La Belle Epoque/Ravel/Faure/
Recital : Haendel ? Brahms ? Bach ? Liszt
Liszt Recital
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Radiant music making from a fresh and gifted Sergio Tiempo 19 Aug 2012
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Sergio Tiempo is rapidly gaining his place among the young stars of the piano. In case you have not heard him or know of his reputation, the following is helpful:' Sergio Daniel Tiempo (born 1972) was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and began playing the piano at an early age. His first teacher was his mother, Lyl Tiempo, who began teaching him before he turned three. He achieved early acclaim by appearing on Argentine television when he was four years old and gave concerts in London and France at age seven. In 1980, eight years old, he received special recognition at the Ealing Music Festival (London). His list of teachers has included Maria Curcio, Michel Béroff, Jacques Detiege, and Nelson Freire. He has also attended the International Piano Academy Lake Como, where he worked with Dimitri Bashkirov, Fou Ts'ong, Murray Perahia and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. He has also been taught by and performed with Martha Argerich. Argerich remains one of his staunchest supporters.

Having digested that, Tiempo is too little known in the USA. This past week he appeared in the Hollywood Bowl with Gustavo Dudamel playing the Ginastera Piano Concerto No. 1. The audience took notice! Now in reflection his recordings sound even more spectacular. This recording was made during a live performance at the Lugano Festival. He opens the program with a fireworks piece - the Totentanz of Liszt - with Ion Marin conducting the Italian Swiss Orchestra. Not being a devotee of the works of Liszt it is startling to discover just how dramatic this piece can become in the right hands. Tiempo's technique is flawless: he is a firebrand and a poet all in one. This work is followed by Tiempo alone performing three Petrarch Sonnets of Liszt, and it is here that Tiempo's solid virtuosity is evident. He is a wizard at the keyboard and plumbs the depths of these works, bringing out the beauties few have been able to match on recording. And this, remember, is a live performance.

Joining Alexander Rabinovitch-Barakovsky at the podium the concert concludes with one of the most thrilling performances of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto #1. Tiempo covers the spectrum of pyrotechniques and plangent poetry and stands with the finest interpreters of this concerto today. He is simply astonishing. Hopefully he will become a frequent guest with all of the American orchestras now. Surely with his backing by both Martha Argerich and his fellow Venezuelan Gustavo Dudamel he should become a permanent fixture in the Los Angeles music scene! Grady Harp, August 12
5.0 out of 5 stars Sergio Daniel Tiempo: Flash, Sizzle, and Subtlety too - in Lugano 6 Jun 2012
By drdanfee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It is a pleasure to listen to this super-audio disc, showcasing as it does some extremely fine piano playing by child prodigy, Sergio Daniel Tiempo. How fine? Just run through the nice selection of stellar reviews already posted. Yups. This disc is that good, and ... that much 'live concert' fun and musical excitement.

The disc gets off to a rousing start with Franz Liszt's variations-like fantasy on the familiar Dies Irae theme that so bewitched Rachmaninoff. The pianist, orchestra departments, and leader Ion Marin do this bombastic music to a fare thee well. The most that many pianists can do with the Totentanz is to set it on fire as often as possible, hoping that the variety can become a dazzling Lisztian fireworks display, drawing us into the colors, explosive gear shifts, and general excitement. Tiempo and Marin get the players making a much more nuanced deal, and though Totentanz still has its share of hoo-ha that cannot help reminding us of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, or Orff's Carmina Burana played on picnic boom boxes, one hears the work as better than it typically gets played.

Then we go solo on the keyboard. Tiempo gives us three of the Petrarch sonnets from Liszt's second year in Italy. His sense of flow befits the ruminations of these three works, hand to glove. One gets not only a helpful sense of colors, but also of foreground and background in the playing. Tiempo digs into each Sonnet as if he were truly in love with its message. There is remarkable virtuosity in these three Lisztian forays, but the music comes first. Only in passing retrospect may a listener note how effortlessly Tiempo tossed off something that sounds too jazzed up or too effortful in other hands. Or, in still other hands, just plain and flat. All through the three sonnets, the mastery of flow and background/foreground texturizing continues to throw up magic from both an instrumental angle - one revels in how Liszt's command was inseparable from the western grand piano - and from a mesmerizing music-making angle.

If Tiempo could sustain this kind of heart, color, and all else he serves up in abundance, across the rest of the voluminous Liszt oeuvre ... one surely would spend years hearing him do it.

Then this disc wraps up with the desperately familiar Tchaikovsky piano concerto. Now Alexander Rabinovitch-Barakovsky steps up to the conductor's stand. This live performance is such fun with such sizzle that I cannot imagine many people objecting. It is played pretty freely, but never really sounds stretched, mauled, or flattened. What comes across is a zest for music-making that would do any performer proud, and the audience hears it, too. Engineering has managed to deftly balance the piano with the orchestra departments, and surround sound fills in the rich tonal colors and touches of the venue. Tiempo seems to be running wild for joy at times in a fresh air field, and his athletics and musicianship are such that I could never begrudge him. Nor the composer, for that matter. It is readings like this that keep over-exposed war horse pieces, standing tall in the concert hall, season after season. Just when you think to yourself, Oh no, not THAT PIECE, again, you realize you are hearing a reading that enters into the familiar music in ways that suddenly seem irresistible. Nobody is bored to be playing the Tchaikovsky this time out; nobody seems bored to be listening to it, live, in Lugano; and if you find yourself wandering off to think over your tax receipts or something, we will all lament your sophistication and jadedness.

If you happen to have been listening to Sergio Daniel Tiempo since those early releases ... as I have ... you will perhaps further rejoice that this disc proves his staying power, as well as his kaleidoscopic gifts. The younger player did well. You could hear that he loved music. The young man is still engaged in the music, if not more so. You can still hear, how much he loves music, and how it tends to spill over around him to the conductor and players. Lugano was fortunate to hear him at the festival. We are lucky that the engineers captured some of it in surround sound high resolution audio.
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