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Achucarro - Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 [Blu-ray] [Reino Unido]
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Descripción del producto
This recording commemorates the 50th anniversary of Joaquín Achúcarro's debut with the London Symphony Orchestra after winning the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic International Competition in 1959. Recorded at Jerwood Hall, St Luke's, London, with Britain's eminent conductor Colin Davis at the helm, Achúcarro delivers a consummate performance that brilliantly expresses his delicate and passionate style. Extra features include a substantial documentary about Achúcarro's career and performances of solo piano pieces by Brahms, Chopin, Scriabin and Albéniz filmed in the beautiful setting of the Prado museum, Madrid.
Works: Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2; Three Intermezzi Op. 117; Chopin: Preludes Op. 28 Nos. 15 & 16; Scriabin: Prelude & Nocturne Op. 9; Albéniz Iberia Op. 47 Book 1 No.2
<h3 class=""productDescriptionSource"">Press Reviews
"Achúcarro's approach is unorthodox in today's stick-to-theletter-of-the-score, mechanically perfect musical world. His rubati seem excessive to some; to others, like a throwback to a Golden Age. For all of his reverence for the great composers whose music he plays, he maintains a healthy sense of their humanity as well. Our duty is first of all to understand what composer does and wants, and then to try to deliver it the best we can, but also to serve the music, he says. And maybe sometimes the composer is wrong. He adds, People say you must follow the text. But if you follow the text, perhaps the music is not totally served. ...And he views what he does as a performer as an act of creation in its own right." (The Washington Post)
"The short recital filmed in the Prado captures Achúcarro at his intimate best." (Gramophone)
London Symphony Orchestra; Sir Colin Davis
Catalogue Number: OABD7054D
Date of Performance: 2009
Running Time: 131 minutes
Sound: 2.0 PCM & 5.1 DTS
Aspect Ratio: 1080i High Definition / 16:9
Subtitles: EN, FR, DE, ES, IT
Label: Opus Arte
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I had not been acquainted with Achucarro before (there's a documentary, too)and he clearly has the technique to address this work. What I'm missing here in his playing is depth and phrasing. I find his interpretation to be rather literal, and I'm reminded of many places where theres just that subtlety missing in the phrasing, it may only be milliseconds, but what a difference it makes! Colin Davis rather follows his lead in this area, but he is known as being rather literal. If you like mild-mannered Brahms, this may fill the bill for you.
Otherwise read on re: Zimerman and Pollini.
I find the Second one of Brahms most visceral pieces, where the right interpreter can make me feel grabbed, punched and soothed. Brahms Second is one of the most powerful and fiery concertos in the repertoire. Check out Georg Szell and Leon Fleischer's classic audio recording, among others.
I have some problems with the sound also. The track labelled LPCM 5.1 is at a lower level and there is little/no surround information. The LPCM Stereo track is at a higher level and does have surround information. There was an opportunity here to make a real 5.1 demonstration recording with no restrictions on mike placement, but there is no sense of the space here and no sense of hearing as though on the podium.
That is a real pity. The best demo of real 5.1 in opera I have heard is a series of recordings by Dynamic at Opera de Wallonie, where you are front row center on a live space. Most others including this example wind up being center channel mono with a few cues but not a sense of the space.
This is a good first effort on Blu-Ray but not the last word.
I expected better sonically from Opus Arte.
We can hope that Barenboim or Argerich will still give us a reference quality pair of Brahms concertos. Zimerman with Bernstein/VPO has the juice and is a little more "virtuosic" than Pollini but Bernstein is a bit more mellow than Abbado. It is coupled with their Brahms First Concerto.
The prize here goes to the Unitel/DG recording Maurizio Pollini with Claudio Abbado and the VPO who bring a reading to stand with the best. High quality (upconverted) video and fine stereo/5.1 audio plus two Beethoven and two Mozart concertos in a 2-for-1 DVD pack from DG.
Well, it turns out, that Achucarro is well-known and, I could tell right away, there is something unique and ingenious about how he interprets and plays piano works. He even made some Scriabin piano pieces sound scintillating and fascinating to me, which for me is an accomplishment considering that I usually find Scriabin boring. Some of the piano pieces he played on this recording revealed the pieces in ways I have not heard them before.
The Brahms Second concerto was excellently played, and the orchestration was excellent as well. All of the basic emotive nuances of he pieces were brought out, as well as the overall sense of "pleading" that Brahms' frustrated, perhaps somewhat psychotic, personality brings to his music.
One criticism is the overall visual settings in which the pieces were played. The Brahms was recorded in a colorful studio with a modern brick/steel/glass architecture that seemed a bit too light and airy a visual environment for a "heavy" Brahms piece replete with exasperation and suffering, which seems better recorded in an ornate concert hall. Achucarro also played some solo piano pieces in other parts of the disc while the piano was seated next to, of all things, the violent Goya painting "The Third of May," so you could see blood-spattered Spaniards being executed by Napoleon's soldiers in the background. This also contrasted in a somewhat tacky way with the quiet, contemplative music being played next to it. In general, these visual settings were a bit of a distraction.
does not give the reverberation needed to fill out the dense orchestration and as a result the sound overall is about like a run-of-the-mill
CD. The video is crisp but unimaginative----very few highlights to correspond to the individual instruments. The cello soloist in the slow
movement is a particular highlight. All in all, good, but not great.