You'd be hard pressed to find better value for money than this double CD: the first disc contains the first three piano concertos; the second has Concerto Number Four (written for the left hand and one-armed pianist Paul Wittgenstein), Number Five, Visions Fugitives and the Overture on Jewish themes.
Like most people, I suspect, I came to these piano works through the everlastingly popular Piano Concerto Number Three. I did not know Two, Four and Five but they are a revelation - particularly Two, in G Minor. I now consider this to be the greatest of the piano concertos written in the last century, even above Bartok's Second, but this is, of course, a personal preference. Nevertheless, the range and variety of emotion, the sheer inventiveness on display (without ever collapsing into incoherence) are breathtaking. The performances of all five would be hard to fault; I may here and there have some particular favourites ( Kissin for One, Vinnitskaya and Guiterrez for Two, Argerich for Three , and so on), but certainly Berman is at those exalted levels.
With these performances of such wonderful music, and at such a price, this is definitely a double disc to snap up.
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