Search - Andre Previn, Gershwin, Mozart :: Andre Previn: Great Pianists Of The 20th Century (Music Of Mozart, Poulenc, Shostakovich, Gershwin)

Andre Previn: Great Pianists Of The 20th Century  (Music Of Mozart, Poulenc, Shostakovich, Gershwin)
Andre Previn, Gershwin, Mozart
Andre Previn: Great Pianists Of The 20th Century (Music Of Mozart, Poulenc, Shostakovich, Gershwin)
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (19) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #2

It's difficult to locate fully André Previn the concert pianist, but this collection, which gathers Mozart and Gershwin convincingly, might just give a full-on portrait. There are loads of documents of his jazz-pianist day...  more »

      
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It's difficult to locate fully André Previn the concert pianist, but this collection, which gathers Mozart and Gershwin convincingly, might just give a full-on portrait. There are loads of documents of his jazz-pianist days--mainly in the 1950s on the West Coast scene--and, with the premiere of his operatic adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire, increased attention on Previn as a composer. But the selections collected on these two CDs (both over 75 minutes long) show a versatility that only a full discography could otherwise woodenly demonstrate. Previn's Mozart is muted, his piano applying shade at the edges, whereas his Poulenc solos are forcibly naked and colorfully chromatic, showing off his virtuoso chops to great, even flowering, effect. Like everything here, his Shostakovich (recorded in 1962 with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, one year after the Poulenc solos) shows flaring brilliance and control of both the brittlest and most strenuous runs. But it's the overall package, with the Gershwin songs (from 1997) and Rhapsody in Blue (recorded in 1984) that will excite most Previn fans. The song performances rival the improvisations of Bill Evans and still present the works as hybrid jazz-concert works. For a wide-angle shot of one of the century's great polymaths, this is excellent. --Andrew Bartlett