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Barenboim: Tchaikovsky, Schumann – Piano Concertos (FLAC)

Barenboim: Tchaikovsky, Schumann - Piano Concertos (FLAC)

Barenboim: Tchaikovsky, Schumann - Piano Concertos (FLAC)

Performer: Daniel Barenboim
Orchestra: Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Sergiu Celibidache
Composer: Robert Schumann, Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: EMI Classics
Size: 276 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54
Composed by Robert Schumann
Performed by Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
with Daniel Barenboim
Conducted by Sergiu Celibidache

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23
Composed by Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
Performed by Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
with Daniel Barenboim
Conducted by Sergiu Celibidache

01. Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 54: Allegro affettuoso – Andante espressivo – Tempo 1 – Cadenza – Allegro molto
02. Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 54: Intermezzo (Andantino grazioso)
03. Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 54: Allegro vivace
04. Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor Op.23: Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso – Allegro con spirito
05. Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor Op.23: Andantino semplice – Prestissimo – Tempo I
06. Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor Op.23: Allegro con fuoco

These live recordings are from 1991. Barenboim and Celibidache clearly see the Schumann concerto as the lovely, fresh-as-a-daisy work that it is, while never losing sight of the fact that it is a display piece as well. There’s a wonderful energy level throughout, and rehearsals must have been plentiful; there’s nary a glitch. The second and third movements practically float. The Tchaikovsky begins big, with those familiar horn calls and punctuation marks stating that this will be a very Russian experience indeed. The climaxes in the first movement are exciting and huge, the cadenza by turns lyrical and potent, and always well-articulated. The middle movement has no bombast; it’s played and led as the dreamy piece it is, with the weird, fast middle section practically witty. And the last movement shows itself to be a powerful final statement, although Celibidache gets some charming wind playing from the orchestra during quieter moments. These two artists have been called idiosyncratic but there’s little of that in evidence here. The Munich Philharmonic plays gloriously. This CD has a sense of occasion about it which makes it very special. Highly recommended. –Robert Levine

Celibidache pulls a minimum of slow-poking, and Barenboim is in fine form

I think the Amazon reviewer is right to say that this live recording from Munich in 1991 has a sense of occaison about it. Barenboim reverts to his younger self playing concertos with the much older Klemperer and Barbirolli — he’s ardent, enthusiastic, and forward moving, with no fussy gestures in the Schumann. Celibidache’s tempos are up to speed (did he make this radical change for his soloist?), and the Mnich Phil. plays well. The woodwind soloists in the first movement aren’t top drawer, but that’s offset by their touching, lyrical phrasing. The in-house broadcast sound is also good, but for all its naturalness, the piano is a bit far back for maximum clarity. The sturdy, emphatic way that Celibidache takes the finale reminds me in particular of Klemperer.

The Tchaikovsky is an oddball pairing — I’d never want to hear them together in one concert — nor is this music one associates with Barenboim. I don’t hear the Russian-ness that the Amazon reviewer claims to, but Barenboim’s style is panoramic and he certainly has all the flair the work calls for. Good musical instincts serve him well, since he’s not prepared to fire off cannons a la Richter and Horowitz. It’s a shame that Celi suddenly decides to put on the brakes for the middle movement; the expressive purpose is lost on me. You agonize over every note of the opening flute solo as it’s squeezed out. The finale gets us almost back up to speed, and Barenboim relishes the chance to race around the course, more a trot than a gallop. I’m impressed that he could remain so involved in this old standby.

The Schumann is a pure delight, and so are the outer movements of the Tchaikovsky. As a non-fan of Celibidache, I msut say that I’m impressed.

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