Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 - Bartók: Piano Concerto No. 2 (Cd/Dvd) CD+DVD
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Top Customer Reviews
The Bartok concerto has similar virtues, although it is in a more austere idiom. Personally I prefer it to sound a bit dryer and more percussive, as you hear in the Pollini/Abbado version, where Lang Lang and Rattle are more "expressive" and varied in tonal nuance.Read more ›
The recording is superb and the accompanying "making of" DVD gives some insight into what went into this - with Rattle and the pianist going through the score carefully with the sound engineers. The piano playing is incredibly vibrant and when you see it on the DVD, it is breathtaking. Rattle points out passages where he thought Lang Lang must have had extra fingers - but he shows how he did it by 'miming' his technique, over the score.
The presentation is very good with a comprehensive, thick booklet that includes many colour photos from the recording sessions. Unlike most liner notes - the content comes primarily from the main protagonists and it is interesting to hear their insight and it all adds to the experience. For example, Lang Lang explains how he hears oriental sounds in the concerto and Rattle points out how different these two pieces are, despite being written within 2 years of each other in central Europe.
Both pieces come across very well in this recording and piano/orchestra never sound less than virtuosic and brilliant. The pieces show two completely different approaches to the piano concerto and Rattle explains how he leads in the Bartok, where the orchestral part is more complex and involved. But in the Prokofiev he allows Land Lang to lead and they let the orchestra follow and support him. All in all, music making of the highest order, recorded in the highest quality - this has to be 5 stars.
But Rattle has shown affinity for both Prokofiev and Bartok in the past and thankfully in this case he is at the height of his game. From the start of the Prokofiev 3rd Concerto we hear music-making that is truly mesmerizing. Lang Lang plays with command boosted by his dazzling technique, delving into the work with a true sense of adventure. He is a chameleon of the keyboard, finding many shades of color and elaborating with his combination of nuance and sheer charisma. One might find his pianism less individual than past readings from Kissin and Argerich, who both mastered the work, but for dash and energy, Lang Lang probably surpasses them both. The decisive factor in making this album a success may be Rattle, actually, who is sparkling and idiomatic, more so than Abbado with the same orchestra for both Kissin and Argerich. He finds great variety all throughout the score but his naturalness caught me off guard--there's none of his afflicting self-consciousness. The Berliners are beyond words and with the wonderful recorded sound, the experience could hardly be bettered.
This Bartok 2nd comes on the heels of a great reading from Leif Ove Andsnes and Pierre Boulez with the same orchestra a few years back. This reading is less precise and direct but the flexibility in the phrasing is truly remarkable. Is it a bad thing that the scoring doesn't sound as percussive?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Unbelievable mastery of Lang Lang Great to have the full recording after seeing the movie of making the recording on the Berlin Philharmonic's 'Digital Concert Hall' - well worth... Read morePublished 8 months ago by John Roots
Fantastic music cd. Lovely and sweet concert .
The problem was the delivery time, this was moore than the promised time.