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Vadim Repin - Live at the Louvre

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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Allegro Vivo
  2. Intermede - Fantasque et leger
  3. Finale - Tres anime
  4. Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 35
  5. Scherzo - Presto
  6. Andantino
  7. Allegro Vivace
  8. Andante Cantabile
  9. Allegro
  10. Commodo (Quasi Allegretto)
  11. Allegro Con Brio
  12. Sonata for Violin and Piano - Maurice Ravel
  13. Hora di Mars - Grigoras Dinicu

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mixed live recital that goes all over the map, but is superb everywhere 15 Dec. 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
I've been aware of Russian virtuoso Vadim Repin for around ten years, mostly but not entirely on records. This recording, made live at the Louvre in Jan. 1999, preceded his ascendancy to elite status as an exclusive artist for DG. Yet during this time I've never quite accepted that Repin, for all his technique and musical maturity, was an artist of depth. The first item on this (very) mixed program changed my mind. The Debussy Sonata brings out a wide variety of tone from Repin, sometimes on the verge of silence, sometimes dusky and fragile. Each shift makes musical sense and amplifies a work that is sometimes put down as a sign of Debussy's decline into over-simplicity at the end of his career. With Boris Berezovsky showing himself a seriously good Debussy pianist, the combination is magical. I wish that they pairing remained intact for the whole concert.

But this is mix-and-match time, and for the Schubert Sonata in A, D. 574 (aka "Grand Duo") the pianist is Ralph Gothoni, who is unknown to me. He and Repin don't complement each other as perfectly as in the previous number, but they are very fine in their own right. Repin's tone is less varied here, which isn't a criticism; he handles Schubert's fairly simple violin writing in the right carefree style -- this is a smiling performance. I am by no means an expert in Schubert's violin compositions, but this performance seems impeccable.

After France and Germany comes Russia, in the form of Prokofiev's Sonata for Two Violins Op. 56, where Repin plays second fiddle to Anton Barachovsky, not that the ear can distinguish between the two sight unseen. Their playing is exceptional, as attuned to Prokofiev's romantic modernism as any Russian aficionado could wish. Along with the Debussy, this is a stunning reading. With the main events over, we get two novel encores. The slinky "Blues" from Ravel's Sonata in G, his last chamber work, features some striking pizzicatos and strangely off-kilter rhythms that seem more modernist than anything Ravel usually did. finally comes a two-minute gypsy fling where Repin is joined by Roby Lakatos (renowned, it appears as a gypsy fiddler), sending the audience into joyous rhythmic applause.

In all, a recording I never expected to be so excited over, but one that is superb in every way -- it gave me newfound respect for Repin's talent.
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