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Liszt: Piano Concerto 1 & 2, Etc / Ax, Salonen, Et Al

Release Date: 08/30/2005 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 94746   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Franz Liszt
Performer:  Emanuel Ax
Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Originally coupled with Schoenberg's Piano Concerto, Emanuel Ax's recordings of Liszt's two concertos re-emerge more sensibly alongside the same composer's B minor sonata. Both Ax and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen work overtime to make these often bandied-about concertos sound like the tightly knit compositions they are, as opposed to virtuoso showpieces where anything goes, so to speak. Ax's sane, unflappable, big-hearted virtuosity is an absolute joy to behold, especially in a musical context that takes Liszt's cannily integrated tempo relationships and specific expressive directives on faith. Yet there's plenty of power and panache, helped by Salonen's outstanding podium work. Only a few patches of sour-toned brass in the first concerto's Read more finale qualify my otherwise total endorsement.

Likewise, Ax never displays anything less than world-class, beautifully modulated pianism and clear-headed musicianship in the B minor sonata. Perhaps he doesn't quicken the pulse, run the fullest dynamic gambit, nor take the boldest chances on the level of Arrau, Argerich, Richter, or the young Horowitz; but that's not Ax's way. Listeners who admire Arthur Rubinstein's similarly centrist interpretation or Yundi Li's recent version for DG will equally welcome this solid 1992 performance. [10/17/2005]
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Concerto for Piano no 1 in E flat major, S 124 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Emanuel Ax (Piano)
Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849/1856; Weimar, Germany 
Concerto for Piano no 2 in A major, S 125 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Emanuel Ax (Piano)
Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839/1861; Weimar, Germany 
Sonata for Piano in B minor, S 178 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Emanuel Ax (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1852-1853; Weimar, Germany 

Sound Samples

Allegro maestoso
Quasi Adagio
Allegretto vivace - Allegro animato
Allegro marziale animato
Adagio sostenuto assai - Allegro agitato assai
Allegro moderato
Allegro deciso - Marziale un poco meno Allegro
Allegro animato
Lento assai - Allegro energico
Andante sostenuto
Allegro energico

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