Maurizio Pollini's 2011 concert recording of Johannes Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor is an important document because it not only captures his return to playing with the esteemed Staatskapelle Dresden (his first performance with the group since 1986), and his first collaboration with conductor Christian Thielemann, but it presents the very work the pianist played at his Staatskapelle debut in 1976. All of this background is helpful to know, to understand the significance Deutsche Grammophon attaches to this release, even at the risk of offering a CD that runs just over 45 minutes, without any filler for added value.
Annika Treutler grew up in Detmold and is now based in Berlin. She studied with Prof. Matthias Kirschnereit at the Rostock College of Music and Drama and Prof. Bernd Goetzke at the Hanover College of Music, Drama and Media. The young artist won third prize at the Montreal International Piano Competition in 2014 and reached the semifinals of the ARD International Music Competition in Munich that year. Annika Treutler has appeared as a guest soloist with such orchestras as the Konzerthaus Orchestra of Berlin, the Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra, the German Symphony Orchestra of Berlin, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. On this release, she presents beautiful solo piano works by Johannes Brahms.
Bernard Haitink conducts the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Brahms’s great orchestral works, including the complete symphonies. The concertos feature three great soloists: pianist Claudio Arrau, violinist Henryk Szeryng, and cellist Janos Starker. "No one, I trust, will deny that Arrau has lived with, wrestled with, and in a truly terribly way ’known’ the D minor Concerto for more years than most of us can consciously recall. Where contemporary pianists have often tended to refine or domesticate the concerto, withdrawing it from the world of heroic endeavour, Arrau has always done the reverse. No pianist, apart possibly from Serkin in his several recordings, has communicated so formidably the work’s scope: its seriousness and its anxious, tragic mood. Often Arrau makes free with the text. But the vision is huge, the technique astonishing. Haitink is a worthy accompanist."
Is this what Gallic Brahms sounds like? Well, violinist Renaud Capuçon is French-born and French-trained, and pianist Nicholas Angelich, while America-born, is French-trained, but does this make them French musicians rather than musicians who are French? Possibly: Capuçon has the lean, lyrical tone that has been the specialty of French violinists since Louis Capet and Angelich has the lush, lucid tone that has been the specialty of French pianists since Walter Gieseking.
Masters of Classical Music is an informative and captivating guide to twenty of the most important works in music history. Outtakes from the original scores within the documentaries, assist the viewer by making it easier to follow the music and to overall comprehend the structure of the works. The viewer will travel back in time to experience the birth places of these compositions and will thereby gain insight into the lives of the composers whilst receiving a thorough introduction to the works.
After its début as soloist with the director Zubin Mehta in the concert of celebration of 70 birthdays of your Majesty Reina of Spain, Ann Maria Valderrama has devoted herself like one of the most acclaimed Spanish violinists of the moment and a clear emergent value of the European musical panorama.
Jan’s latest album will feature Double Concertos by Brahms, Rihm, and Harbison, performed with violinist Mira Wang. Double Concertos, recorded with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Peter Oundjian, will be available on Sony Classical.