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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Of The Liszt !, 6 Nov 2011
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Liszt Concertos (Audio CD)
Fast approaching his sixty-ninth birthday Daniel Barenboim shows little
evidence of being ready to hang up his coat tails any time just yet!
(...but has his suprisingly youthful appearance had a little help from Hebe?)

This live Deutsche Grammophon recording of the two Liszt piano concertos
(No 1 S.124 and No 2 S.125) with Pierre Boulez and the Staatskapelle Berlin
shows that his consummate artistry remains startlingly intact. Mr Boulez
has always run a tight ship; the smallest details standing out in sharp
relief but with these two great late romantic works he seems at times to
loosen the reins, lean back on the podium and allow himself time for
enjoyment as well as precision (at 86 I rather think he's allowed to!)

The concertos are presented in reverse order which means our entry into the
recording is made by way of the sublime Adagio Sostenuto Assai of the No 2.
Mr Barenboim's hushed entry is a magical introduction before the full force
of the work breaks forth. I found myself holding my breath during those
fearsome arpeggios but the soloist survives them with every note in its place!
Thereafter it's a veritable firework display of raw dynamic energy. The
communication and balance between orchestra and piano is beautifully moderated
and vividly captured by the DG sound team. The grand brass fanfares and bold
keyboard cavalcades of the Allegro Deciso are truly thrilling! The final
Allegro Animato bounds along at a breathtaking pace. The audience applause
seems rather cool given the effort expended by all. A cold concert hall perhaps!

The No1 is given equally pungent treatment but Mr Barenboim's innate sense of
how to spin an elegant line never lets the work descend into mere bathos.
His dynamic control of the Quasi Adagio, in particular, is utterly enchanting.

We are also treated to two fine renditions of the 'Six Consolations S.172'
(spellbinding!) and the delightful 'Valse Oubliee S. 215') to seal the deal.

A magnificent musical partnership and a recording to treasure.

Highly Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bicentenary tribute to a Master, 2 Sep 2012
By 
Graham Mummery (Sevenoaks, Kent England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Liszt Concertos (Audio CD)
There is a poetic aptness that this performance still has on my CD a sticker celebrating the now past Liszt bicentenary. Liszt was a legendary virtuoso and all round musician, and a visionary composer who lead the way into new tonalities. His works on this disk are performed by a legendary pianist and all-round musician, and an equally legendary conductor-composer with his own vision of tonality.

This is a live recording in repertoire one does not usually associate with Boulez, but in recent years he has branched out more and more, and here it is a success. Barenboim, a musician I associate with expression of feelings displays his virtuosity while plumbing the expressive depths in Liszt's music.

Interestingly, the disk starts with the Second Concerto which is the one less often played, though it is perhaps the more reflective of the two. It receives what is probably the best performance I have heard of it. In the notes Barenboim says he regards the two concertos as equals. In his hands one can see why.

The First Concerto receives a performance that perhaps explores its depths more thoroughly than is usually the case. But pianists like Brendel have already shown us the deeper side of Liszt, and Barenboim continues this tradition. But I will not be ditching my recording by Argerich ((Chopin: Piano Concerto No.1 / Liszt: Piano Concerto No.1) which also is worth a hearing: I would be content with either as the sole performance in my library.

After the concertos there are two more Liszt pieces played by Barenboim. I have to admit in the gorgeous Consolation No 3, I couldn't resist comparing it with Horowitz on Horowitz Plays Liszt. As with Argerich, I end up wanting both. A quality Barenboim and Horowitz share is an ability to play the piece as if they were improvising. The Valse Oubliee No 1 too is wonderful.

Riches indeed. Thoroughly recomended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 9 April 2013
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This review is from: The Liszt Concertos (Audio CD)
I have wanted a recording of the second Liszt concerto for some time and this is the 'dearm team' one!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exceptional Contribution, 11 Dec 2011
This review is from: The Liszt Concertos (Audio CD)
This is a remarkable evocation of the essential romanticism of both concertos. Piano and orchestral parts are played with meticulous refinement and colour, and tempos are moderated to 'load every rift (of the music) with ore'. The disc also contains two encores by Barenboim (this is a live recording) of Liszt piano music: both of exceptional pianistic quality. A highly recommended disc.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 12 Feb 2013
By 
Lance Edwards (derbyshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Liszt Concertos (Audio CD)
I've always tended to despise the Liszt concertos, though occasionally some part of one has impressed. Basically I took a chance on this - I used to admire Barenboim's pianism - and it was very cheap at the time as well as very well reviewed. It is an excellent recording and Barenboim forces the listener to take the works seriously. I would rate this near the top.
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The Liszt Concertos
The Liszt Concertos by Daniel Barenboim (Audio CD - 2011)
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