Customer Reviews


4 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top-notch performances, 2 Feb 2008
By 
David B "Piano David" (GOUROCK, Renfrewshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Romantic Piano Concerto, Vol. 38 Rubinstein & Scharwenka (Audio CD)
Previously I reviewed the Earl Wild recording of the Scharwenka Piano Concerto No 1, and said that his performance was unbeatable. Perhaps this newer recording doesn't beat Wild's performance, but oh my, it fully equals it!

Everything about this CD is of sumptuous quality: Sleeve notes, performace, recorded sound.

This is a serious rival to Wild in the Scharwenka, and to anyone in the Paderewski.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Performances, Stunning Virtuosity, 12 Mar 2011
By 
Steven M. Beresford (Vancouver, WA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Romantic Piano Concerto, Vol. 38 Rubinstein & Scharwenka (Audio CD)
Among the great pianists of the world there are virtuosos, super-virtuosos, and magicians. Hamelin is a magician and in these "superhuman" performances, he shows himself to be the greatest pianist alive today, eclipsing other magicians such as Lisitsa and Sudbin, and well beyond the capability of super-virtuosos such as Kissin, Hough, and Zimerman.

The level of pianistic virtuosity and artistic accomplishment is comparable to Michelangeli's legendary performance of the Rachmaninov #4. Whereas Michelangeli's performance is one of profound mystical intensity, Hamelin's interpretation of these crowd-pleasers is exuberant, effervescent, and electrifying, with lots of jaw-dropping "Wow!" moments.

The fast tempi of both concerti is commensurate with Hamelin's astonishing pianistic skills, frequently generating "sheets-of-sound" reminiscent of jazz saxophonist John Coltrane's best work. Both concerti are superbly nuanced regarding tempo, modulation, and phrasing, with outstanding sound engineering.

Not be outdone, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under the masterful direction of Michael Stern shows why it is one of the world's finest orchestras, perfectly complementing Hamelin with bravura, gusto, and a remarkable sense of unison. This CD is clearly the best of Hyperion's "Romantic Piano Concerto" series and will probably set the standard for many years to come. In my opinion, this is the greatest recorded performance of piano music since 1957, when Michelangeli set the standard for the 20th century.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Delights, 24 Dec 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Romantic Piano Concerto, Vol. 38 Rubinstein & Scharwenka (Audio CD)
I first heard the 2nd movement of the Scharwenka some 15 years ago on Radio 3 and was so struck by it I scribbled the details in an old address book, which was the first thing that came to hand and which promptly disappeared. Thank goodness it has recently surfaced from the dross and I was able to source this recording (playing as I write!).
The music ranges from majestically dark and dramatic to playful and hugely romantic, but always with that gently melancholic streak that Rachmaninov and other great Eastern European composers infused into their work. The Rubinstein is therefore an excellent companion on this high quality CD. The piano notation comes through crystal clear and is beautifully balanced by the orchestra.
Highly recommended. Don't wait 15 years for your copy!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Hamelin shines in music that doesn't always, 10 July 2013
By 
Stanley Crowe (Greenville, SC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Romantic Piano Concerto, Vol. 38 Rubinstein & Scharwenka (Audio CD)
First, the reservations: I'm not totally happy with the piano/orchestra balance on this CD. It must be difficult, because you want to foreground the piano when so much is being asked of the pianist technically, but there are times here when the orchestra is either an amorphous wash of sound or simply too far back in the aural mix to have full effect. It never sounds bad, but it isn't consistent, and the ear picks that up. When solo orchestral instruments engage the piano, they are given prominence enough for us to appreciate their textures in dialogue with the piano, and there are many such nice moments. It occurs to me that I might be over-thinking the problem here: maybe the POINT of pieces like this is to get the audience into a kind of minute-by-minute responsiveness to exciting or gorgeous playing as a kind of bated breath or edge-of-ones-seat experience. If that's the case, then just sit back and enjoy this.

The most cogent and enjoyable movement to me is the scherzo-like finale of the Rubinstein Fourth. It has shape, wit, and drama, and Hamelin plays it with amazing panache. The other movements were enjoyable enough, and lovely or exciting in the moment without being particularly memorable. That's no fault of Hamelin's, for he earns his fee here. The Scharwenka First interested me less than the Rubinstein. There's more variety of mood within the movements, but my reservations with the balance struck me more in this concerto than in the other. Still, it's good to have these on record in such good performances. These are the necessary context for Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, and Prokofiev. What distinguishes the now-canonical works, by contrast with works like these on this disc, is their balance of virtuosity, shapeliness, and memorability of thematic material.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews