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Tango Rhapsody
Tango Rhapsody
Price: £13.32

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some nice reviews :, 20 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Tango Rhapsody (Audio CD)
"Undeniably Fun !", January 2013, Gramophone

Piazzolla's music, and tango nuevo itself, is a bit like marmite. I will confess to being a lover - in small doses. Brother-and-sister duo Karin Lechner and Sergio Tiempo's programme is dazzlingly executed, as one would expect: Lechner is an accompanist for Barbara Hendricks and Viktoria Mullova among others, while Tiempo's earlier solo and chamber recordings have been well received in these pages (A/02, 7/06). Nalen Anthoni described them as 'excellently endowed both technically and artistically' (6/08). That shows in their evolving expressive elaborations of these pieces, playing directly on the strings, clapping the music stands, stamping and so on .Piazzolla's are the most individual items on the disc, with Adios Nonino and La Muerte del Angel two of his most recorded. Michelangelo '70 is a typical -- perhaps too typical -- example of his tango style, although Revirado presents a different side to him. I last encountered Pablo Ziegler's music on Erwin Schrott's fun Latin disc `Rojotango'. Duo Lechner-Tiempo took lessons from him, reigniting their passion for tango; his four pieces are less distinctive than Piazzolla's but neatly put together.
Federico Jusid 's Tango Rhapsody is a playful concerto best appreciated on the bonus DVD where its theatricality (with pianists stealings-on and stormings-off, a huge row in the central section with borderline maltreatment of the instruments and a gushing, Rachmaninovian reconciliation) can be seen. Without the visual element it struck me as a vibrant, dynamically scored work with a Latin flavour, toying at times with jazz, Hollywood film scores and with a rhythmic interplay owing as much to Bartok and Stravinsky as to tango. Undeniably fun !
Guy Richards, Gramophone January 2013

"Tango Rhapsody Is A Feast For The Ears. ", February 2013, Dance Today

"Recently released on the Avanti Classic label, Tango Rhapsody features Venezuelan-born pianist Sergio Tiempo performing with his piano duo partner, sister Karin Lechner, and the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana led by Jacek Kaspszyk. The title track is a new work by film composer, Federico Jusid (who, with Emilio Kauderer co-wrote the music for the Oscar-winning El Secreto de Sus Ojos (The Secret in their Eyes)). A friend of Jusid's, Tiempo had asked him to compose a piece that would delve deep into the tango's drama, anger, passion, as well as the form's choreographic qualities.
The result is a leviathan almost 19 minutes of music composed for two pianos and an orchestra. The accompanying DVD presents the work as a performance piece, with the siblings variously foot-stamping, storming around, throwing shoes and so on, with Lechner at one point slamming her hand down on Tiempo's piano strings. While the acting does not always convince, the music who does, with the title track appearing alongside wonderfully arranged and performed tango works by Astor Piazzolla and Pablo Ziegler, both friends of the siblings' family From a dancing point of view, I would argue that these are tangos for showdancers rather than social dancers. All the same, Tango Rhapsody is a feast for the ears. " Nicola Rayner February 2013

"A Life-Affirming & Thrilling Disc From Two Pianists Who Clearly Love Every Note. Enthusiastically Recommended.", December 2012, SACD.Net

A life-affirming & thrilling disc from two pianists who clearly love every note.

All the Piazzolla and the Jusid-Kauderer are arranged by either Pablo Ziegler or Federico Jusid for the two pianos that are caressed and toyed with in all manner of ways by Karin Lechner & Sergio Tiempo. Tiempo hails from Caracas (Venezuala) but it is clear that the Buenos Aires-born & raised Lercher has thoroughly primed him in the almost unrecognisable subtleties of the Tango phrasing & emphasis (akin to a gifted musician from Vienna schooling you in how to play the Strauss family). For all the sultry passion that is vividly portrayed, there is a delightful playful to the playing of both pianists that never fails to raise a smile; needless to say the Piazzolla items are the best known.

The centrepiece of the disc is Jusid's Tango Rhapsody for 2 pianos and orchestra. Unlike the rest of the programme, which was recorded in studio conditions in the Auditorio Stelio Molo (Lugano), this concertante work was recorded at concerts of the Progetto Martha Argerich 2010 (Lugano); applause is excised on the SACD and audience noise is mercifully absent. As the accompanying DVD shows - this work is one where Tiempo and Lechner not only prowl around the piano & orchestra figuratively but literally as well - this is a work of performance art as well as music. The DVD was filmed in Buenos Aeres with the local youth orchestra providing a setting for our pianists; the soundtrack though is the same as presented on SACD (albeit only in stereo) and now with accompanying applause. Although part of me thinks it may have been a shame that the youth orchestra was not heard (because everyone was obviously enjoying themselves), I am glad we can at least see how the piece works spatially. There are some obvious visual artefacts in the filming but it does not detract greatly from the extra enjoyment. By means of "encores", a further set of Tangos conclude the disc.

The sound presents a rich, dark texture from the pianos without the merest hint of hardness even when Tiempo & Lechner unleash their full potential. The balance in the concertante item however favours the pianos too much at the expense of the orchestra to be ideal.

Enthusiastically recommended.

SACD.net : John Broggio (december 2012)

Totentanz, Petrarch Sonnets/Piano Concerto No.1
La Belle Epoque


Francesco Piemontesi - Piano Recital
Francesco Piemontesi - Piano Recital
Price: £14.67

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some great Reviews, 4 April 2012
BBC Music Magazine, September 2011, J. D.

"Musical predigrees don't come much better than Francesco Piemontesi's. At 28, the Swiss pianist has been through many fine musical rites of passage, including Borletti-Buitoni Trust, BBC New Generation Artists and the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. In this recital -an album dedicated to one of his mentors, Alfred Brendel- he proves his worth.

It's not just intelligent programme planning -Handel paired with Brahms's response to him. JS Bach respectively with Liszt's -that makes Piemontesi stands out; this is seriously classy pianism. Clarity of thought is complimented by clarity of touch, incisive intellect by a good dose of fantasy. The details are joy: the gradual accelerando into Handel Prelude, the improvised ornamentation in the Bach Partita, the rhythmic springiness that underpins the Baroque works and equally the Brahms that pays tribute to them. The lightest, clearest moments of the Brahms Handel Variations -try Variation XVI- are exquisitely voiced and full fo charm, and these qualities are to e found elsewhere, in the richest and strongest variation, fugue and all. There's space to breathe and to dance. The Liszt transcription of Bach's Fantasy and Fugue in G minor has huge panache : Piemontesi seems to relish recreating the sonorities of a cathral organ on a mere grand piano"

the Telegraph, 04/08/2011, G. N.

"The young Swiss-Italian Francesco Piemontesi combines communicative panache with remarkable insight. He prefaces a virile, sensitive performance of Brahms's Handel Variations with a stylistically discerning one of the Handel suite from which Brahms took his theme. Bach's Partita No1, Liszt's transcription of the G minor Fantasy and Fugue and Vallée d'Obermann provide further evidence of Piemontesi's exceptional talent."

The Observer, 31st July 2011, F.M.

"This young Swiss pianist (b 1983), a multiple prize-winner and BBC New Generation Artist, has dedicated his recital disc to Alfred Brendel whom he names, together with Murray Perahia and Mitsuko Uchida, as inspiration. This reflects the kind of pianism to which Piemontesi aspires: composer wins over ego, musical integrity over flashiness, tireless preparation over hopeful inspiration. You can hear it in that ultimate test of musical character, Bach's Partita No 1 in B flat[...] In Handel's Suite in B flat, Brahms's Variations and Fugue on a theme by Handel and Liszt's Vallée d'Obermann, this pianist reveals a powerful gift of intimacy. You have to stop and listen".

Sunday Times, 1st August 2011, S.P.

"The young Swiss pianist Piemontesi, a BBC New Generation Artist, is a musician of rare intelligence. The Handel's B flat major Suite, HWV 34, is incisive and positive, while clarity is not compromised by the wide tonal palette he displays in Brahms's Handel Variations, Op 24. Bach's Handel Variations Op24.Bach's B flat major Partita is articulated elegantly. A fine account of Liszt's Transcription of Bach's G minor Fantasy and Fugue does its massiveness and thrilling contrapuntal intricacies utter justice..."

The Guardian, 30/06/2011 - A.C.

"There's a real aristocratic sweep to this 27-year-old Swiss pianist's playing; the Handel suite from which Brahms extracted the theme of his Handel Variations is generously expressive, while Piemontesi's account of the Brahms Variations themselves, ..., is full of delicacy and transparent textures that make you hang on every phrase. Liszt's transcription of Bach's G minor Fantasy and Fugue makes the neat link between the first partita and the extract from the first book of the Années de Pèlerinage. Piemontesi's unaffected Bach playing is recognisably all of a piece with his fundamentally unflamboyant approach to Liszt, which manages to present the rhetorical grandeur of Vallée d'Obermann truthfully, without exaggerating it in any way."

Other Great Releases:
Totentanz, Petrarch Sonnets/Piano Concerto No.1
Polina Leschenko Recital
Goldberg Variations


Totentanz, Petrarch Sonnets/Piano Concerto No.1
Totentanz, Petrarch Sonnets/Piano Concerto No.1
Price: £18.82

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some great Reviews, 21 Feb. 2012
Gramophone Choice, B.M., April 2012

`...In both Liszt's Totentanz and Tchaikovsky's First piano Concerto, [Sergio Tiempo] more than fulfills his early and extraordinary promises. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that he may well be the most dazzling and spontaneous pianist of his generation. At every point he turns the heat up to near boiling point, joyfully and unapologetically flaunting his virtuoso bird-of-paradise feathers. His octave technique is superhuman: try the famous cannonade of octaves in the first movement of the Tchaikovsky,... Every bar sparks with a fearless, vivid and audacious life, and no other recent version of the Tchaikovsky comes within distance of this.Tiempo's endless pianistic resource is no less evident in Liszt's Petrarch Sonnets, their florid emotional live,..., ideally suited to such volatility and imagination. Well recorded and accompanied, with the pianist's own playful and perpective essay, this is a record in a thousand'.

International Record Review, N.S., February 2012

`...Tiempo does indeed live for the moment, and the two concerto works are exciting and exhilarating in the extreme. Totentanz is exceptionally finely crafted, with faultless ensemble with conductor Ion Marin, and Tiempo copes with fiendish demands with light touch and crystalline clarity. Too often this is a heavy and bombastic work which sinks under its own weight, both in the musical content and the thickness of the scoring, both orchestral and pianistic, but there is none of this here. This is certainly a version to return to, with all the thrill and spontaneity of a live performance and a very impressive collaboration... Tiempo's impetuousness (in Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto) is undeniably exciting , driving through the finale's molto meno mosso into the Coda with an unmarked accelerando...
Tiempo's Totentanz is especially impressive, but the solos Liszt works are finer still. Tiempo is not hidebound by barlines and regularity of metre, and there's a degree of rhythmic waywardness and freedom which allows him to unfold these works in an improvisatory manner. This is matched by a full-blooded tone, never forced, and pedaling of real subtlety, with the filigree passagework on the `Sonetto 104' totally clear, while the opening of `Sonetto 47' is a model of colouring, the shade of the oscillating left-hand chords contrasting with the light of the right-hand melody.
With so many performances these days that are somewhat conservative and predictable, it's wonderful to encounter a young firebrand who has so much to say, with a prodigious technique married with the widest range of tone and colour'.

The Sunday Time, S.P., 22 January 2012

`The two works here involving the orchestra were recorded live at Lugano Festival in 2004 and 2005, and show a pianist of electrifying brilliance. Liszt's Totentanz is, of course, all demonic brilliance - Tiempo attacks with ebullient swagger... The finale (of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto) bristles with excitement.'

The Independent, A.P., 29 January 2012

"A strong sense of lyricism and a taut technique colour Sergio Tiempo's live recording of Liszt's Totentanz and Tre Sonetti...and Tchaikovsky's first Piano Concerto... the hurtling passions and moments of introversion in the Tchaikovsky are cleverly navigated."

The Daily Telegraph, G.N., January 2012

`An exciting, full-blooded performance of Liszt's Totentanz, recorded live in 2004 ..., finds [Venezuelan pianist Sergio Tiempo] fully in command of the music's technical and stylistic facets. Confidence, dynamism, and personality also emanate from Tchaikovsky's First Concerto, recorded the following year : Tiempo and his conductor Rabinovitch-Barakovsky are certainly not afraid of exploring fresh interpretative avenues that contribute to a genuine feeling of spontaneity. The three Petrarch Sonnets attest to Tiempo's sensitivity and limpid touch.'

Sacd.net, J.B., 06/01/2012

" ...this is virtuosity at the service of poetic art and Tiempo provides poetry and art in spades. Very high class playing indeed." (about the Petrarch Sonnets)

Other great releases :
La Belle Epoque
Polina Leschenko Recital
Goldberg Variations


Duo Lechner Tiempo: La Belle Époque
Duo Lechner Tiempo: La Belle Époque
Price: £25.56

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Reviews, 17 Sept. 2009
Gramophone, January 2010, Jeremy Nicholas.

"Karen Lechner her brother Sergio Tiempo combine successful solo careers with their appearances together - and a formidable duo they are too. Sibling telepathy coupled with playing together since they were old enough to sit on a piano bench have their benefits, one of which is this CD, without doubt one of the most electrifying recordings of four-hand piano music I have ever heard. Any scepticism will be dispelled after the opening bars of `Vif', the first movement of Scaramouche. How alive they are to every nuance, precision-drilled yet elegant and spontaneous, with that essential prerequisite of making a studio performance sound as though it were being played in front of a live audience.

The resourceful arrangement of Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe Suite No.2 for two pianos, made by Ravel's life-long friend Lucien Garban (1877-1959), was performed by Lechner and Tiempo at the 2007 Lugano Festival and was one of the highlights of EMI's 3-disc set but Avanti's recorded sound makes this version preferable. Fauré's Dolly is invested with a subtly expressive detail that makes you listen with fresh ears to this well-worn favourite, while the performance of Fêtes (Ravel turned arranger) supersedes the venerable 1935 recording by Rosina and Josef Lhévinne - and that is saying something. La Valse is a thrilling tour de force.

Accompanying the CD is a DVD with a documentary on Lechner and Tiempo and a second feature in which the duo talk about the music. The whole package is classily and thoughtfully presented by this Belgian label and is a credit to all concerned".

SACD.net, John Broggio, September 2009

`A disc of almost universally superlative playing.

Where do Avanti find their artists? One has to ask for they turn up quite a sensational set of pianists one after the other and these siblings (Karin Lechner and Sergio Tiempo) are no exception. There are only two "genuine" works for a duo here and one of them, Milhaud's brilliant Scaramouche opens proceedings. Quite electrifying playing immediately fills the room as the young players sound, figuratively speaking, as though they are dancing along to the outer movements high spirited music - it must be noted that they are suitably reflective in the central "Modere" movement and altogether this is a wonderful rendition.

Scarcely after one regains composure after the Milhaud, does one of the most outrageous transcriptions this listener has ever heard caress the ear. It is hard to imagine for those who have yet to hear this duo in action but their playing of Ravel's second suite from Daphnis et Chloe leaves little to the orchestral version. A simply ravishing account of Lucien Garban's virtuosic transcription that the Duo Lechner play with considerable finesse.

Central to the programme is Faure's Dolly suite (the only work here for 4 hands, 1 piano) and Duo Lechner are sensitive to the more reflective nature of the music and grant it a clean, simple rendition that merely leaves a smile on the listeners face(...)

Ravel's transcription of his own La Valse and it is given a quite exceptional reading here; many will have heard orchestras produce less colour than the Duo Lechner do here. Reflective where called for, the faster movements are thrillingly dispatched in a white-knuckle ride that has one perched on the edge of one's seat. Fortunately, despite all the many thrills, there are no spills and one merely wishes to have been present when this marvellous rendition was set down.

(...)This is a disc that cries out to be heard and then heard again! Enthusiastically recommended'.

Diapason, October 2009, J. Bastianelli: Award : 5 Diapasons

`The enthusiasm of both musicians gives consistency to a kaleidoscopic programme. The performance is energetic, clear, vividly contrasting and characterised by confident tempi: with such qualities it is clear why Martha Argerich is a fan of Karin Lechner and her brother Sergio Tiempo's playing. Their exuberant style is particularly fitting for the spirited `Fêtes' and the final explosion of `La Valse', but they are equally at home with the interplay of shade and light (for example in `Nuages'). And finally, the two pianists demonstrate as much ease in portraying tenderness as they did in the more brilliant and spirited passages: they give a performance of `Dolly' that is absolutely astounding in its gentleness and rich expressiveness. The transcription of Suite No.2 from `Daphnis et Chloé' has some magnificent moments, thanks to a subtle setting of the growing mass of sound'.

Pizzicato, September 2009, Remy Frank : Award : Excellentia.

`Listen to the fireworks from Scaramouche of Milhaud, then immerse yourself in the world of wild emotions of the second Suite of Daphnis and Chloé by Ravel and then relax with the merry and tender colors of Gabriel Fauré's Dolly. The magic also works in two Nocturnes of Debussy: one can only admire the shimmer of the colors, the unequalled variety of timbres, and the refined use of the nuances and then be overwhelmed by the disarming sensitivity that is admirably performed by these excellent pianists who are in total control of their instruments. The interpretation (of Maurice Ravel's La Valse) by the Duo Lechner Tiempo is extraordinary: the perfect symbiosis, already present from the beginning of this CD, seems to go even further: it binds the musicians in only one dash, in only one language... The rise of tension leads to a phenomenal final crescendo, leaving the listener completely flabbergasted'

Knack, 4 stars, July 2009, Peter Vandeweerdt

`Everything in the famous music of Milhaud and Fauré is light, joyful, and naturally paced as it is seldom heard. Then the pieces from Daphnis et Chloé sound adult and orchestral. The lightening fast passages, where brother and sister follow each other perfectly, are breathtaking. The two Nocturnes of Debussy provide an appetizer of their playing with timbres that are much more developed with two pianos than with one, from mysterious containment, almost without noticeable beginning, to majesty by the perfect doubling of many notes. That playing breaks entirely loose in a fantastic - and sometimes improvised - Valse of Ravel, which dances, astonishes, scares, explodes and finally drags you into a feverish swirl.'

De Standaard, July 2009, ESE.

`These musicians deliver superb chamber music. The faster and more virtuosic the music is, the more musicians seem to enjoy it(...) For those who love flamboyant and compelling piano, this CD is an absolute must'.

Other Great Releases :

Totentanz, Petrarch Sonnets/Piano Concerto No.1
Polina Leschenko Recital
Goldberg Variations


Fantasy in C op.17/Piano Sonata S 178
Fantasy in C op.17/Piano Sonata S 178
Price: £15.05

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Maestro at last recorded, 11 Oct. 2005
Pedro Burmester is an inspiring portuguese pianist who contributed to the famed 'Casa de Música' in porto (portugal). the recording features Liszt's Sonata in B minor and Schumann's Fantasie in C major Op. 17 and was completed in february 2005.
since giving his first recital at the age of ten, Pedro Burmester, has won numerous national and international prizes and toured throughout the world. he has performed with many well-known orchestras (such as the National Opera Orchestra Belgium, Northern Synfonia of England, Nederlands Kamerorkest, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra to name a few). Pedro was invited by Sir Georg Solti to perform Beethoven V with the London Symphony Orchestra at the opening concert of "Lisbon, Cultural Capital of Europe '94".


Fantasie Pieces op.73/Sonatas for Violin & Piano
Fantasie Pieces op.73/Sonatas for Violin & Piano
Price: £16.63

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique Performances !, 11 Oct. 2005
Dora Schwarzberg is one of the most inspired, challenging and personal violin players of her time. her playing is unequaled. she teaches at the Vienna Music High School and has trained more than 30 violinists, many of whom are now first prize winners in international competitions and/or 'konzertmeister' of international orchestras. she is frequently invited to Verbier and Lugano and often plays with other virtuosos, including Martha Argerich.
Polina Leschenko, a 23 year old pianist, has played amongst others at la Roque d'Antheron (France), in the Lugano Festival, and at the Beppu Meeting Point. she has recently signed a contract with Van Walsum Management and her first recording (in 2004 for EMI) received a 'Choc du Monde de la Musique' award in France. she is one of the most promising talents among today's young pianists.


Symphony 1/Piano Sonata 7/Cello Sonata
Symphony 1/Piano Sonata 7/Cello Sonata
Price: £14.31

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Recording ! Not to be missed., 11 Oct. 2005
Polina Leschenko has created a unique programme featuring predominately Prokofiev's works. covering the entirety of his body of work, it begins with a thrilling performance of Prokofiev's Classical Symphony in an unedited transcription for two pianos (by Rikuya Terashima). Polina is joined for this unique performance by the world renowned Martha Argerich. Prokofiev's 7th Sonata, one of the most moving and virtuosic pieces of the composer's repertoire, follows. Polina's interpretation will surely come to be a benchmark in the discography of this work. the Cello Sonata that follows is a celebration of Polina's friendship with the increasingly well known swiss cellist Christian Poltera. together, they give a noble, inspiring and delicate performance of this work. the programme finishes with three short virtuosic pieces recorded with Roby Lakatos: Prokofiev's March from 'l'Amour des Trois Oranges'; Tchaïkovsky's Melodie (from 'Souvenir d'un Lieu Cher'); and Rachmaninov's Vocalise, in a new arrangement by Roby Lakatos.


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