Adagio ma non troppo by Emanuel Ax. Marcia, assai vivace. Marcia, assai vivace by Emanuel Ax. Allegretto ma non troppo. Allegretto ma non troppo by Emanuel Ax.
However, those looking for a barn burnig version of these concertos would do well to look elseware: Ax's performance is understated, with a focus on nuance, precision, color and dynamic shading. He never resorts to vulgar clanging in the forte passages.
While not lacking in passion, his performance simly lets the music speak for itself. One minor quible: the Choral Fantasy sounds like it was recorded in a TB ward, and the overall sound of this piece is notably inferior to the rest of the cycle. This is understandable, because the Fantasy was recorded live and at a different venue than the other recordings.
Buy this set for the concertos. This marvelous collection of Ax playing Beethoven's piano concertos and fantasia is exactly the type of performance that propels Ax's reputation as probably the leading living piano virtuoso. His rapport with the orchestras is amazing From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Piano Concerto in G major No.
The Symphony: A Listeners Guide. Oxford University Press, Notes on Beethoven: 20 Crucial Works. Eerdmans Publishing. The Vintage Guide to Classical Music.
Vintage Books. Concertos by Ludwig van Beethoven. Concerto in D major, Op. Triple Concerto in C major, Op. Romance No. The opening flourishes are played well enough by Ax, who seems to want to play this music on a grand scale. However, at the entrance of the orchestra, Previn and his uninterested Royal Philharmonic deliver a pretty lifeless exposition.
For the most part, the dialogue between soloist and orchestra is more akin to muffled whispering than declamatory statements, worsened in large part by the homogenous sound of the Philharmonic, which makes little effort to play with any energy.
The second movement suffers from the warm, heavy strings of the Philharmonic coupled with a tempo just slow enough to make tension snag. Ax wants to bring energy to the finale - indeed, his pianism is fine throughout - but Previn and the Philharmonic are pretty flaccid sounding here as well.
Still, Ax's poetry is lovely, his interpretations solid, and his musicianship unquestionable. I would blame Previn mostly for the lackluster quality of this release. The fourth isn't much better. The heavy strings make a mess of the central movement and the finale refuses to take flight.
The first movement if particularly colorless, again due to Previn's insensitivity. Why or why he supports his soloists so badly is still a wonder considering his success with Radu Lupu is the Greig and Schumann concertos and with Vladimir Ashkenazy in their Rachmoninov cycle, both with the London Symphony Orchestra. Simply put, these are "nice" performances of these two concertos but they cannot stand up to the competition. When there are so many better recordings of these concertos out there, why waste your time here?
Ax is powerful without being overbearing, and sensitive without being anachronistically Romantic. And Previn is a good accompanist. What more could you want? One person found this helpful. See all 3 customer reviews. Write a customer review. Pages with related products. See and discover other items: emanuel ax. There's a problem loading this menu right now.
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