This is the second of Brilliant's box sets devoted to Russian recordings from Evgeny Kissin. Labeled as early, these live concert performances from 1984 to 1990 carry us from the day after Kissin turned 13 (Mozart Cto. #12 K. 414) to age 18 (Mozart Cto. #20, K. 466), with most readings clustering in the range of 1985-89. Russians were well aware of the marvel in their midst; the pianist's American breakthrough occurred in 1990 when he debuted at Carnegie Hall's centennial season.
In 2011 the Berliner Philharmoniker and their musical director Sir Simon Rattle welcomed in the New Year with a gala concert programmed with ‘Dances & Dreams’. Spinetingling and inspiring performances of music by Dvořák, Ravel, Richard Strauss, Stravinsky and Brahms are complemented by the extraordinary talent of the multi-awarded Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin. Kissin’s musicality, the depth and poetic quality of his interpretations, and his extraordinary virtuosity have placed him at the forefront of today’s pianists, and his passionate performance of the renowned Piano Concerto in A minor by Edvard Grieg is mesmerizing.
Brahms’ Piano Concertos present challenges to even the most seasoned performer, and so it is a testament to the confidence and abilities of the young French pianist, Adam Laloum, having recorded both works together for his Sony debut. Laloum is the recipient of a number of prestigious awards including first prize for the Clara Haskil Piano Competition in 2009 and more recently the Victoire de la Musique Classique (Instrumental Soloist of the Year) in 2017. Adam says about the Second Concerto: “The Second Concerto to me contains […] fantasy, with an extraordinary sense of noblesse and maybe a different type of generosity: it is warmer and more human. Although it is an immense work, sometimes in it [Brahms] talks about simple things and even about humour – always with a lot of tenderness.
This is a rather brisk reading of Brahms' masterpiece, the most ambitious work in his output and one of the greatest compositions of its type. Though Herreweghe's tempos often pushed the music to its limits here (except for the first section), the performance never actually sounded fast, or at least not offensively fast. In fact, it challenges the Levine/RCA effort.
Bernard Haitink conducts the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Brahms’s great orchestral works, including the complete symphonies. The concertos feature three great soloists: pianist Claudio Arrau, violinist Henryk Szeryng, and cellist Janos Starker. "No one, I trust, will deny that Arrau has lived with, wrestled with, and in a truly terribly way ’known’ the D minor Concerto for more years than most of us can consciously recall. Where contemporary pianists have often tended to refine or domesticate the concerto, withdrawing it from the world of heroic endeavour, Arrau has always done the reverse. No pianist, apart possibly from Serkin in his several recordings, has communicated so formidably the work’s scope: its seriousness and its anxious, tragic mood. Often Arrau makes free with the text. But the vision is huge, the technique astonishing. Haitink is a worthy accompanist."
Those who are able to follow Anne Sofie von Otter's live recitals and stage performances will have noticed how much more lively movement and physical definition there is now in the voice. This once noble, but still cool Swedish mezzo-soprano has now begun to reach out to her audiences with a more active will, a more imaginative warmth as her artistry continues to mature.
On time for their 10th anniversary the hard rockers of KISSIN’ DYNAMITE are striking a balance. All members are just in the middle of their twenties, though the group around singer Hannes Braun has seen and achieved a lot since they first appeared on the map in 2006: 5 worldwide released studio albums, extensive touring in Europe and Asia, multiple TOP 20 entries in official German album charts…
Julius Katchen performs the composer's work whom he most favored; again, highly-esteemed recordings among classical cognoscenti.