The apparently insatiable Dutch pianist Ronald Brautigam continues to gobble up standard and not-so-standard Beethoven with this 2009 disc featuring the composer's Fourth Piano Concerto and the piano transcription of his Violin Concerto, a recording that should please fans of the pianist's previous Beethoven recordings. Performing on a modern concert grand rather than the fortepianos he had favored in some earlier releases, Brautigam delivers readings that sparkle in the outer movements, sing in the central movements, and never resort to technical or emotional grandstanding to make their points.
Legendary violinist David Oistrakh delivers a profoundly thrilling rendition of Beethoven’s Concerto for Violin & Orchestra in D Major Op.61. Arguably, 1 of the best violin concertos ever composed, the esteemed violinist delivers with his flawless virtuosity & skillful execution. Remastered by 4 historic engineers, the sound is spacious & warm.
The catalog doesn't need a new version of Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream, but this one is sung and spoken in German (hence the use of Sommernachtstraum on the cover), which is rare. It's reminder that Mendelssohn was setting a German translation of Shakespeare. Harnoncourt's performance is very fine. His speakers and singers are first-rate, and he evokes both the dreamy relaxation of the play and its mercurial swiftness. Tempos are on the fast side, phrasing is crips without being terse, and the execution by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe could be mistaken for the Concertgebouw.
Drawing on the Chopin model of alternating major and minor keys, as well as on Russian folk melodies, Kabalevsky’s 24 Preludes (1943–4) find the composer’s writing at its most distinctive. They are coupled with the early 4 Preludes (1927), in which the influence of Prokofiev is seldom far away, and the Preludes and Fugues (1958–9), six widely contrasting and expressive preludes yoked to their traditional fugal partners. This is the second recording of Kabalevsky’s piano music by Alexandre Dossin, First Prize and Special Prize winner at the 2003 Martha Argerich International Piano Competition. The three Piano Sonatas can be heard on Naxos.
One of Kremer's most commanding performances, both polished and full of flair, magnetically spontaneous from first to last. The rule now seems that all the finest versions of the Beethoven Violin Concerto are being recorded live… Here is another, for Gidon Kremer's Teldec recording offers one of his most commanding performances, both polished and full of flair, magnetically spontaneous from first to last. Rarely have I heard such consistently pure tone in this work as from Kremer, and his achievement is set in place the more clearly, when my other new version offers the first recording of this work using period instruments. Harnoncourt may have expanded his sights beyond the period performance movement, but the lessons he learnt then are most imaginatively applied in his work with COE, earlier in his Beethoven symphony cycle, later in the Missa solemnis, and now in this Concerto. If Kremer regularly has you registering new detail in the solo part, the orchestral writing too is superbly realized, with magical sounds in the slow movement in particular.