Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Antonin Dvorak, Gianandrea Noseda, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra|
Dvorák: Piano Concerto; Violin Concerto
Dvorak P & V Ctos: Outstanding Playing by Rustem H. & James
Dan Fee | Berkeley, CA USA | 05/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you do not yet know the other two Dvorak concertos, one each for piano and violin, you are probably in a for a great treat. Yes, the second cello concerto holds a deserved place in the concert and student literature, but it is hard to explain the relative neglect of either the piano or the violin concertos, once you know them.
Here the piano concerto is handled with heart, fire, and ?lan by Russian Rustem Hayroudinoff. He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory, and the UK's Royal Academy. He synthesizes his own version of the keyboard part, editing from the original Dvorak plus the Wilem Kurtz revisions plus his own small revisions in places where he thought Kurtz was going off the Lisztian deep end. Whatever changes he made to balance the piano writing, RH does not ever disrupt the fresh melody that is the piano concerto's main reasons for being. He handles the slow middle movement with just the right combinations of heart and simplicity and forward motion. You know this movement is being done right when your first reaction to it ending is that it ended too soon. Nor is RH less than stellar in the first and last movements, which are of course more lively and dramatic. Each is athletic in its own ways, and RH can do keyboard back flips with the best musical gymnastics of fingers, hands, forearms, and upper body. The musical message is all deftly conveyed, muscular, fiery, poised, and superbly happy to be alive and playing the piano.
In the violin concerto we get the highly gifted Canadian, James Ehnes. He is playing a beautiful Stradivarius on extended loan from the Fulton Collection, the Ex-Marsick of 1715. His touch on this most golden of lyres reminds us just why the ancient Greeks believed music to be one of the Maiden Muses in the first place, and why the Renaissance started off western art music by trying to recreate that even more ancient blessedness. I dare you to hear what James Ehnes is doing on his fiddle without remembering how the Greek's told us Prometheus stole fire in the first place from the jealous gods and goddesses living in snotty serenity on Mount Olympus. Dvorak sings out just as well in his violin concerto as he does in his piano or cello concertos, so it is difficult to say what deficits deprive concert audiences from hearing it as often as, say, the Mendelssohn or the Beethoven or the Brahms. The more often I listen to the Dvorak violin concerto, the more often I remember that it belongs right up, sharing the heart's spotlight with Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Brahms, and Mozart.
The BBC Symphony musicians play their hearts out in both concertos, under the leadership of their principal conductor, the Milanese Gianandrea Noseda. Chandos' engineers have captured it all in well-balanced, vivid, wide frequency (24 bit regular CD) sound that stays firmly anchored to its venue, Studio 7 at New Broadcasting House, Manchester.
The good news is that we do not lack for other worthwhile performance of either concerto. This outing can go to the keeper shelf for Dvorak piano concertos, along with those by Rudolf Firkusny, Sviatoslav Richter, Jeno Jando, Pierre Laurent Aimard, and Paolo Giacometti. How nice that James Ehnes also comes along for the ride, completing this disc with his stunning work in the violin concerto. Just add your favorite performance of the Dvorak cello concerto, and you have winners all round.
Highly recommended. Five stars."