This extensive release is the second installment of a ten-volume tribute to conductor Michael Gielen. Some of Michael Gielen's very first broadcast recordings made in the 1960s were of Bruckner's symphonies. The development of the SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg is visible in these recordings, from the very earliest recording all the way to the incredible 2013 performance of Bruckner's Symphony No. 9. All of Bruckner's symphonies are included on this release. Four of these performances have never been previously released.
The Smetana G minor Trio here makes an ideal pairing for the Tchaikovsky and helps to seal the deal for a winner of a disc. The Vienna Piano Trio encompass both composers’ changing moods with a flowing naturalness to rival much starrier versions. The sound from Dabringhaus und Grimm is also terrific – there’s a real flair to the instruments.
– Gramophone [2/2009]
It's filled with some of the most important and representative recordings made by this "virtuose" pianist. My favorite ones are the sessions with Nelson Freire. Sessions with Mischa Mayski are great also! Very recommended to everyone that appreciate calssical piano albums, performed by one of the greatest names of the last 50 years.
What makes these performances stand out is Ott's thoughtful approach to both concertos, eschewing empty display and bringing weight, detail and a range of colours to the solo parts.
The Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 3 is rarely heard, though it is a finely crafted work worth greater attention. It has suffered alongside the magnificent and superior Second and the ever-popular First. Moreover, it is not a bona fide concerto at all, the composer having completed only the first movement before his sudden death in 1893. Contrary to the suggestion of a few, it is highly unlikely he intended to produce a one-movement concerto. Tchaikovsky wrote two other piano pieces the same year bearing the titles "Andante" and "Finale," respectively. Following his death, Taneyev orchestrated these and attached them to the Concerto, though Tchaikovsky had left no indication they were to be a part of it. But the pair did share something in common with the completed first movement: a theme source – the incomplete Symphony No. 7. In any event, the opening movement of this Concerto is the most compelling, featuring an exuberant main theme whose first two notes are the central melodic element. An attractive slow melody is soon presented, followed by a theme of great vivacity and rhythmic drive.