5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding Rodrigo stars in a most enjoyable concert,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Europa Konzert 11 (Espana/ Concierto De Aranjuez/ Symphony No.2) [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)I was intrigued by the idea of a flamenco artist playing the Rodrigo concerto with the Berlin Orchestra and it was for that reason that I took the gamble and bought the disc. My personal favourite performance of this concerto up to this point had been the Bream/Gardiner CD which is excellent by any standards. I had some reservations about the Rachmaninov as neither the orchestra nor Simon Rattle are famed for such repertoire. I thought that sheer on-the-edge Russian fire (Svetlanov or Ashkenazy for example) might not exactly be a natural for them. Indeed their very sophistication might be a hindrance. As regards the Chabrier - well, quite an enjoyable make-weight but hardly the reason for purchasing such a disc.
I have now seen the disc 3 times and both I and my wife have been completely bowled over by the Rodrigo concerto on each occasion - a wonderful revelation and quite the best we have ever heard. Astonishing delicacy displayed by all is the over-riding impression coupled with a tight overall control of rhythm (as you might expect).
The Rachmaninov isn't bad either. Not the Russian fire as explained above but not the over-attention to small details that I feared from Simon Rattle either. Instead we get a deeply felt and convincing central European reading which is very well recorded as expected and which serves as a very satisfying alternative non-Russian view. One that is far more effective than the earlier version recorded by Maazel with this orchestra in my opinion. The Chabrier is OK!
Altogether an excellent concert here though that will surely give a great deal of pleasure to a great number of people - including doubters like me! Well done to all concerned.
Extra note for Rachmaninov enthusiasts
If a really authentic Russian sounding performance of the Rachmaninov is the key interest I would suggest investigating the 2007 double DVD set of the Symphony 2 under Bychkov coupled with The Bells and The Symphonic Dances plus 2 hours of illustrated documentaries on Arthaus - riveting performances throughout in excellent sound and vision.