This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
*** This title is a reissue of a Japanese release with liner notes in Japanese. ***
Beethoven expended little effort over arranging his Violin Concerto for piano. He left the orchestration intact, reproduced the solo part more or less verbatim, and added just enough left-hand accompaniment to keep the soloist interested. Although he didn't provide cadenzas for the violinist, Beethoven left the pianist four from which to choose, including a wild fantasia that culminates in petulant exchanges between piano and timpani. Perhaps this concoction always will remain a curio, yet a few recent recordings elevate Op. 61a to a genuine work of stature--most notably the stylish, virile, and committed Suk/Baley (TNC) and
Berezovsky/Dausgaard (Simax). So does this remarkable 1969 Peter Serkin/Seiji Ozawa collaboration, but in a completely different manner.
They consistently emphasize breadth and lyricism, and justify their uncommonly slow first-movement tempo by virtue of focused, impeccably accented phrasing that is rhythmically precise yet so vibrant and full-bodied that nothing ever sounds static or rigid. Certainly the robust sonics help, along with the New Philharmonia Orchestra's warm, responsive, and songful execution. It's all too easy for a pianist to reduce the sparse piano writing to surface tinkling, yet even Serkin's most delicate nuances and rounded cadences convey firmness and a sure sense of direction--all the more reason to welcome ArkivMusic.com's on-demand reissue of this long overlooked and underrated recording in a rare Japanese RCA reprint. You can obtain it coupled with the Serkin/Ozawa Schoenberg Piano Concerto, or as here: alongside the pianist's sparkling, cultured, and wittily nuanced Mozart F major K. 459 concerto, featuring like-minded support from the English Chamber Orchestra under Alexander Schneider's shapely and sensitive direction. Booklet notes are in Japanese only, but given such revelatory music making, who cares?
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Piano in D major, Op. 61a by Ludwig van Beethoven
Peter Serkin (Piano)
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Written: 1806; Vienna, Austria
Date of Recording: 6/1969
Concerto for Piano no 19 in F major, K 459 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Peter Serkin (Piano)
English Chamber Orchestra
Written: 1784; Vienna, Austria
Date of Recording: 10/1973
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