Five Piano Concertos and the Piano Sonata No. 32, opus 111, recorded in stereo in 1962 and 1964, respectively, by Wilhelm Kempff [1895-1991] and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Ferdinand Leitner [1912-96]. The sonata, the composer’s last, is certainly more than a mere filler, from the opening hesitancy of the ‘Allegro con brio ed appassionato’ to the extended closing section of the second movement.
A tireless seeker of unfairly neglected works, Katsaris here offers an original programme on disc. This brings together for the first time five of the most beautiful concertos of the Bach family: Johann Sebastian, the famous father, and his sons: Wilhelm Friedemann, Johann Christian, Johann Christoph Friedrich and Carl Philipp Emanuel. Cyprien is here accompanied by the Echternach Festival Chamber Orchestra under the baton of the Korean conductor Yoon K. Lee.
The works of some composers, like Villa-Lobos, do not receive the attention they deserve. This double CD with the five piano concertos by Villa-Lobos is sheer delight. The music is romantic and original. The performance of the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra, under Miguel Gomez-Martinez, is more than good. The pianist, Cristina Ortiz, plays in a flawless manner, well integrated with the orchestra. The sound quality of the recording is excellent.
In a century that seemed to turn it's back on the aspirations of 19th century composers, some musicians kept the Romantic tradition of the composer/virtuoso alive well into the 20th century. Perhaps the most important and forward thinking 20th century virtuoso pianist and composer was Serge Prokofiev. Unlike his fellow Russian, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev created a significant body of virtuoso pieces to the piano literature, which also reflected his modernist sensibilities. Among the strongest of these works are the five piano concertos.
Philips 50 is a unique collection of classic recordings celebrating many of the finest performances from one of the world's great music catalogues.
Philips Classics' distinguished legacy stretches from the early 1950s to the present day and features many of the finest artists of our time. This new series captures their inspired musicianship and incomparable artistry with greater fidelity than ever before. The famous Philips sound has been further enhanced by the use of the latest 96kHz, 24-bit technology to enable new generations to appreciate once more these critically acclaimed, award-winning recordings.
Philips 50 — a wonderful harvest from 50 years of recording.
Glenn Gould and Leonard Bernstein bring an attractive regal pomp and broad rhetoric to the Third Concerto, yet these qualities work to the more lyrical Fourth's disadvantage. Gould's well-oiled fingers zip rather mechanically through the outer movements in the first two concertos, and he scrutinizes the Emperor with the inquiring mind of a brilliant crank.