"David Helfgott for all his charm and warmth is, whilst not a person certainly a pianist well and truly past his prime. (awkard expression I know!) I own all but his latest offering being his cd's Brave New World, Rach 3 and of course this recording. Why I bought more than one is even to me a mystery, perhaps as a fellow australian I wanted to beleive that David was at least on a par with the best the world had to offer, but sadly, after seeing him live twice and the three aberrations in my cd collection I can no longer keep the dream alive.
David is a thoroughly wonderful person so full of life after one so hard. The two live performances I attended were energetic and provided two wonderful evenings. However musically it's just plain awful. There are of course shades of former brilliance, in the Hungarian Rhapsody and the Mendelsohnn Rondo Cappricioso but these only serve to highlight the embarrasingly substandard playing elsewhere. Embarrassing is definately the word which comes to mind. You know that feeling when you see someone performing - worse when its someone you know - and they make a mistake which you know everyone has noticed and said nothing - but you know what they're thinking. Your heart goes out to them and your stomach wrenches, well these performances are just like that.
Admittedly though, this is the best of the three cd's of his I own - the rach 3 recording providing the most displeasure. So if after shine your dead set on getting a Helfgott recording, this is probably the one for you.
However, on a possibly more sour note, I must agree with the reviewer who feels this has gone on long enough. With a fourth cd released only recently to no greater acclaim, the whole thing is starting to reek of a franchise and the exploitation of a wonderful person by those around him."
Brilliantissimo my ass!!
A. Goldstein | Peru | 02/17/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I'm sick of all those "Music Lover's ***** star" rating for this piece of crap. If you bought this, try to get the same works by REAL pianists, you'll note the difference, or please do me a favor and don't say you like classical music. You just loved Shine and wanted to hear David playing. Look at the reviews os his recording of Rachmaninoff's third Concerto and you'll see. I'm sorry for Mr. Helfgott, because he doesn't know what he's doing or what's going on around him, he's just an innocent soul. Shame on Gillian Helfgott ! Sorry Mr. Hicks but I think you picked the wrong idea for a movie, but I still think that Geoffrey Rush made a wonderful job. If you want to know more about David, buy her sister's book. It reveals some interesting stuff about his life and specially his satanized father."
They got the title correct:Brilliantissimo!!
MLWisc@aol.com | Ozaukee County, Wisconsin | 10/28/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"when I matched David's playing to a specially remastered disc of Rachmaninoff's own playing--while I followed the performance measure by measure with sheet music--- the style, execution, and emotion were exceedingly close to how Rach played his own compositions. What some critics forget is this: you can be technically perfect, memorize the sheet music exactly, pedal in all the right places and still lack the gut emotion....Brilliantissimo has both. Helfgott is one of the few INSPIRATIONAL pianists to come along since Rach died in 1943. This CD will not disappoint. David's number one fan, Melissa Jo"
Masterful expression of emotion in classical music
Mandrill | 06/26/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Without a doubt this CD could move anyone, even those not seasoned to the rich sound of classical music. It is my favorite car CD because it puts me at ease while i'm stuck in the endless grind of the day, waiting in traffic. I highly recommend this and also the soundtrack to Shine."
WE'RE ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY
Mandrill | definitely USA | 02/18/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"With Kenny G being the best selling saxophonist ever, you can't blame those folks who are falling all over for poor Mr. Helfgott's "pianism". As for the major music labels- who told you they're there to promote good music or good taste. They are corporations and set out to make money."