Search - Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Liszt :: A Portrait

A Portrait
Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Liszt
A Portrait
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #2

The life of Teresa Sterne is as noteworthy as the label she once presided over (Nonesuch). As a child prodigy, she successfully filled world-class auditoriums in the 1940s with audiences eager to hear her piano playing. Th...  more »

      
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The life of Teresa Sterne is as noteworthy as the label she once presided over (Nonesuch). As a child prodigy, she successfully filled world-class auditoriums in the 1940s with audiences eager to hear her piano playing. Then, inexplicably, Sterne abandoned her concert career only to resurface as the leader behind Nonesuch Records in the late 1960s, turning the budget classical label into one of the more adventurous and consistently rewarding labels around (and generally keeping quiet about her earlier fame). Half of this double-CD tribute collects recordings of a teenage Sterne at the keyboard; the second disc is devoted to some of the finest recordings from her Nonesuch tenure (1965-1979)--both are engrossing. Ignore the surface noise on Sterne's disc (no small task on the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20), and you'll hear a young pianist in fine form--she is expressive, and boasts crisp articulation and fine technique. She dances through Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 13 with riveting intensity; on Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 (with the New York Philharmonic), she shows a sensitive but no less virtuosic side. On the second disc, we get a virtual best-of for Nonesuch Records, including tracks by Joshua Rifkin, Paul Jacobs, and William Bolcom. Hard to imagine anyone doing it these days, but in one five-year period (1970-1975), Nonesuch released albums featuring the music of Stephen Foster, Edgar Varese, George Crumb, and a platter of Bulgarian folk tunes. They're all here. Now battling Lou Gehrig's disease, Sterne herself may be unable to celebrate this release, but for anyone who has treasured a release from Nonesuch's glory days, it's a moving tribute. --Jason Verlinde

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