T. Beers | Arlington, Virginia United States | 12/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These are two of the most beautifully conceived -- and recorded -- Schoenberg performances I have ever encountered on disc. Bamert's masterful reading of Schoenberg's early, over-the-top and very Mahlerian tone poem "Pelleas and Melisande" is fully the equal of Karajan's great DG analog recording, and with vastly more realistic (full digital) sound. But it's the performance of Schoenberg's 1942 Piano Concerto that should make you run out to buy this disc. Notoriously hissed at its first performance (an NBC Symphony broadcast conducted by Stokowski) and still resisted by many listeners today, this is the first recording I've heard that validates Schoenberg's claim that his concerto is a latter day descendant of the great Brahms B flat concerto. Sweepingly romantic in conception and execution, this deeply moving Danish performance positively glows in Chandos' sumptuously three dimensional digital recording. I have heard (and I own) marvelous performances of this music by Brendel, Uchida, and Peter Serkin, but this one bests them all, IMHO. If you're still a skeptic about Schoenberg's serial music, buy this disc for the marvelous reading of his thoroughly tonal "Pelleas" and you'll come to love the concerto as a mind-stretching bonus!"