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Piano Concertos/Zinman, Grimaud

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Dec. 1997)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Erato
  • ASIN: B000005E5M
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 301,637 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Piano Concerto In F Major: Allegro
  2. Piano Concerto In F Major: Adagio - Andante con moto
  3. Piano Concerto In G Major: Allegro agitato
  4. Piano Concerto In G Major: Allegramente
  5. Piano Concerto In G Major: Allegro assai
  6. Piano Concerto In G Major: Presto

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
From the esteemed Erato recording company comes an interesting and beguiling performance by the 27 year old piano virtuoso Hélène Grimaud and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the baton of David Zinman in 1997 playing works by George Gershwin and Maurice Ravel. These works sonically complement each other very well and present a balanced-mood listening experience. In fact, Ravel and Gershwin formed a friendship during Ravel's triumphant visit to the USA. Ravel even admirably 'quoted' Gershwin during the "Perpetuum mobile" movement of the "Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Major" where we hear echos of "Rhapsody in Blue". Grimaud was already an award-winning globally-acknowledged young individualist when these were recorded.

Gershwin's two most famous works, "Rhapsody in Blue" which was commissioned by famed jazz big band leader Paul Whiteman and "An American in Paris", recalling his visit to the "City of Lights" were single movements with multiple themes and rhythms within each work. But "Piano Concerto in F" (major) is written in a more formal classical music format with 3 movements: the soaring, multi-tempo Allegro movement with its beautiful melancholy main theme gives Grimaud and orchestra a great large-scale sonic canvas; the languid, bluesy Adagio-Andante con motto movement with piano figurations that are heavily quoted in jazz solos of today (or was Gershwin the one being influenced?); and the urgent bombastic Allegro agitato uniting previous themes, all three movements getting a marvelous musical ride by Grimaud and company. It is a soaring, beautiful performance from Grimaud supported and complemented by Zinman and the BSO.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Performances 19 July 2007
By David A. Wend - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I became interested in this recording from reading "The Collection" in the June 2007 Gramophone. In the article by Jeremy Nicholas, after comparing 30 recordings of Gershwin's Piano concerto, selected this one as his best performance. I first heard Gershwin's concerto played by Earl Wild and the Boston Pops but my favorite has always been the recording made by Oscar Levant and Andre Kostelanetz. This recording differs from other recordings of the concerto by playing the work as a Romantic piano concerto instead of playing up the jazz elements. The concerto was adapted for jazz band by Ferde Grofe, who did the orchestration of Rhapsody in Blue but with his concerto Gershwin was writing within a classical structure rather than the free-form of a rhapsody.

Rather than push the jazz elements this performance by Helene Grimaud and David Zinman takes a less hurried approach, particularly in the first movement. The slower tempos allow more focus on the classical structure; there is no over-emphasis just the musical colors that Gershwin wrote. The slow movement is laid-back with the blues element of the music beautifully played. Here Ms. Grimaud matches the mood of the orchestra with very smooth playing, lingering over the phrases. The Finale is fast and furious with a marvelous rolling of the gong at the end.

The Ravel Concerto is a nice pairing with the Gershwin, especially since they met and admired each other's music. Like the Gershwin, Ravel's Piano Concerto is performed at an easy tempo bringing out the colors of the score. Ms. Grimaud is fantastic throughout and delivers an excellent performance and David Zinman has great sensitivity for the score. The catalogue, however, has many excellent performances and this one does not, for me, displace the highly regarded recording of Zimmerman and Boulez. If you already have a recording of the Ravel G major concerto the reason for buying this disc is the Gershwin.

There is a good balance between soloist and performer and the clarity of the recording allows one to hear many details that were missed before. My only complaint is that at 54:47 there was room for more music; the Ravel Piano Concerto for the Left Hand would seem an obvious choice or what about Gershwin's Second Rhapsody? This is a minor problem that is made up for by two superb performances.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing performance! 18 Mar. 2015
By R. D. Hoag - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is one of the best performances I have heard of the Ravel G Concerto. I saw her first playing this same concerto on the wonderful digitalconcerthall.com website streamed to my TV from the Berliner Philharmoniker video and I was blown away by her performance.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best 7 April 2013
By Thomas G. Steffens - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The second movement of the Ravel is mesmerizing!!! You will become obsessed with it! Especially the duet between the piano and the English horn!!! The interplay between the piano and the English horn has such lyricism and the rhythms cannot be defined by a time signature! Listen!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful performance, great technique and fine performance 28 Mar. 2014
By Daniel J. McGarigle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I wish I could see Helene Grimaud in performance. Short of that I play this CD with my eyes closed in a quiet room as the performance is a thrilling experience.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ravishingly beautiful music 20 Sept. 2013
By Robin Swados - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an especially beautiful performance of one of the 20th century's greatest pieces of music. Ms. Grimaud is an artist of amazing sensitivity.
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