Firma Melodiya presents recordings of Brahms and Prokofiev concertos performed by Natalia Gutman and Oleg Kagan. One of the worlds best cellists, a Peoples Artist of the USSR, and an owner of the State Prize of Russia, Natalia Gutman received four competition prizes when she was a student.
A smart concept smartly executed, this disc called Heifetz: Double Concertos features the great violinist dueting with three different string soloists in three different concerts from three different periods. How well it works is a matter of taste. In all three works, Heifetz lives up to his reputation for brilliance: slashing in Bach's Concerto for two violins in D minor, elegant in Mozart's Sinfonia concertante for violin and viola in E flat, and sternly passionate in Brahms' Double for violin and cello in A minor.
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was a German composer and pianist and is considered a leading composer in the romantic period. His best known pieces include his Academic Festival Overture and German Requiem.
The circumstances surrounding this April 6, 1962 concert at Carnegie Hall are as legendary as the performance itself. Pianist Gould desired to play the piece at a slower-than-usual tempo, Bernstein (who was conducting the New York Philharmonic) did not. Gould prevailed, but Bernstein shared his disavowal in an infamous pre-concert speech to the audience. This CD-the concert recording's first authorized release-includes Bernstein's speech, the complete performance and a revealing Glen Gould interview recorded two years later.
Rubinstein's heartfelt affinity and mastery of Brahms' burly piano writing is never in doubt, although the pianist's remake 10 years later with Erich Leinsdorf and the Boston Symphony benefits from his greater introspection and expressive simplicity in the first movement's lyrical second theme and the entirety of the slow movement. All told, the volatile Rubinstein/Reiner Brahmsian chemistry holds its own after more than half a century. –Jed Distler, Classicstoday.com
Following her critically hailed Deutsche Grammophon debut, Echoes of Time – and growing acclaim for her concert appearances – violin virtuosa Lisa Batiashvili meets every challenge of Brahms’s monumental Violin Concerto. With maestro Christian Thielemann and the instrumentalists of the Staatskapelle Dresden, for whom German Romanticism is the birthright, Lisa Batiashvili’s elegant, eloquent artistry finds ideal partners. Meeting Thielemann exceeded all her expectations: “. . .his conducting was wild and fiery. At the same time I always had the feeling that I was being supported by the orchestra and that I had time to react.” Rounding out the programme are Clara Schumann chamber pieces which Batiashvili plays together with young pianist Alice Sara Ott. For the first time in their careers they teamed up to play the three romances.
Ginette Neveu (11 August 1919 – 28 October 1949) was a famous French classical violinist who was killed in a plane crash at the age of 30. At age 16, Ginette Neveu achieved worldwide celebrity status when she won the Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition over 180 contestants, including the future virtuoso David Oistrakh, who finished second, and Henri Temianka, who finished third. Édith Piaf wrote of Neveu in her autobiography: "I would have traveled thousands of miles to hear the great Ginette Neveu…."