Edvard Grieg & Robert Schumann: Piano Concertos (1989)
Claudio Arrau, piano; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam; Christoph von Dohnányi
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 320 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 182 Mb (incl 5%) | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: Philips | # 426 079-2 | Time: 01:06:55
Claudio Arrau recorded these concertos twice for Philips, the present performances in 1963, and then again in 1980 with Colin Davis and the Boston Symphony. There's very little to choose between them. Tempos are almost identical, and contrary to what one might expect, the slow movement of the Schumann concerto is actually a bit faster in the later version. Arrau's way with the music is wholly characteristic of the man: serious, even reverential (at the beginning of the Schumann), and played with drop-dead gorgeous tone. The result enhances the stature of both works, but the Grieg in particular. The climax of the finale has an epic grandeur without a hint of bombast that you simply won't find in any other performance. Dohnányi's accompaniments are also distinguished: he lets Arrau lead but isn't afraid to permit the orchestra to assert itself where necessary; and of course the playing of the Concertgebouw is top-notch. If you haven't heard Arrau in this music, it really doesn't matter which of his recordings you wind up with, but do try to get at least one of them.