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Schoenberg: Piano Concerto, Etc; Berg, Webern / Uchida


Release Date: 04/10/2001 
Label:  Philips   Catalog #: 468033   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Arnold SchoenbergAnton WebernAlban Berg
Performer:  Mitsuko Uchida
Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



Gramophone Magazine Award Winner 2001

This programme might have been put together with an eye to avoiding any direct competition. No harm in that, but the issue of comparison scarcely arises, since Uchida’s distinctive musical personality and outstanding technique make her Schoenberg, Berg and Webern well worth hearing however many other versions of these works you have in your collection.

Uchida brings a marvellous spontaneity and sense of drama to the more overtly romantic compositions here – Berg’s Sonata and Schoenberg’s Op 11 Pieces. This is certainly not one of those accounts of the Berg where you question the composer’s wisdom in marking the first section for
Read more repeat. As for the Schoenberg, never have I been more aware of this music’s closeness in time and spirit to the cataclysmic world of the monodrama Erwartung. Uchida’s earlier recording if Op 11 was warmly praised, and this one is no less accomplished. Elsewhere, her relish for strongly juxtaposed contrast risks occasional over-emphasis, as in the third of the short Op 19 pieces, and the virtues of more sharply articulated playing in this repertory are demonstrated on Peter Hill’s admiral bargain-price Naxos disc. His account of Webern’s Variations is exemplary in its clarity and feeling for line; yet Uchida manages to suggest deeper links with more romantic perspectives without in any way traducing the music’s inherent radicalism.

Links with romanticism are even more explicit in the texture and thematic character of Schoenberg’s Concerto, and this performance places the work firmly in the tradition of Liszt and Brahms. Not even Pierre Boulez, with his well known scepticism about the music’s neo-classicism, can bring ideal lucidity to the occasionally lumpy orchestral writing, but the performances a whole, with excellent sound, has an attractive sweep and directness of utterance. Alfred Brendel’s second recording remains a fine achievement, with a special touch of geniality in the first movement. But the orchestral playing is less refined than on the new disc, the recording drier, with a flatter perspective. Nor are Michael Gielen’s readings of Schoenberg’s two chamber symphonies as competitive as Uchida’s of the solo piano works.

--Gramophone Magazine Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Piano, Op. 42 by Arnold Schoenberg
Performer:  Mitsuko Uchida (Piano)
Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; USA 
Date of Recording: 2000 
Venue:  Masonic Hall, Cleveland, Ohio 
Length: 19 Minutes 50 Secs. 
2. Variations for piano, Op. 27 by Anton Webern
Performer:  Mitsuko Uchida (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1935-1936; Austria 
Date of Recording: 2000 
Venue:  Masonic Hall, Cleveland, Ohio 
Length: 7 Minutes 57 Secs. 
3. Pieces (3) for Piano, Op. 11 by Arnold Schoenberg
Performer:  Mitsuko Uchida (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1998 
Venue:  Herkulessaal, Munich, Germany 
Length: 13 Minutes 57 Secs. 
4. Little Pieces (6) for Piano, Op. 19 by Arnold Schoenberg
Performer:  Mitsuko Uchida (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 2000 
Venue:  Masonic Hall, Cleveland, Ohio 
Length: 7 Minutes 42 Secs. 
5. Sonata for Piano, Op. 1 by Alban Berg
Performer:  Mitsuko Uchida (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1907-08; Austria 
Date of Recording: 2000 
Venue:  Masonic Hall, Cleveland, Ohio 
Length: 12 Minutes 57 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Op.42: Andante
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Op.42: Molto allegro
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Op.42: Adagio
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Op.42: Giocoso (moderato)
Piano Variations, Op.27: 1. Sehr mässig
Piano Variations, Op.27: 2. Sehr schnell
Piano Variations, Op.27: 3. Ruhig, fliessend
Three Piano Pieces, Op.11 (1909): 1. Mässige Viertel
Three Piano Pieces, Op.11 (1909): 2. Mässige Achtel
Three Piano Pieces, Op.11 (1909): 3. Bewegte Achtel
Sechs kleine Klavierstücke, Op.19: No.1 - Leicht, zart
Sechs kleine Klavierstücke, Op.19: No.2 - Langsam
Sechs kleine Klavierstücke, Op.19: No.3 - Sehr langsame Viertal
Sechs kleine Klavierstücke, Op.19: No.4 - Rasch, aber leicht
Sechs kleine Klavierstücke, Op.19: No.5 - Etwas rasch
Sechs kleine Klavierstücke, Op.19: No.6 - Sehr langsam
Piano Sonata, Op.1

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