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Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 2; Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 1 / Pappano, Rana

Prokofiev / Tchaikovsky / Rana,Beatrice / Orchestr
Release Date: 11/27/2015 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 553119   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Sergei ProkofievPeter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Beatrice Rana
Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

As word began to trickle out from Fort Worth during the 2013 Van Cliburn Competition, her name kept coming up: the young Italian who had to be heard to be believed. And though she was awarded silver rather than gold, as she toured Stateside the buzz continued to grow. In a word? Beatrice Rana is fierce! And not only as a pianist but as a fully developed artist of a stature that belies her tender years.

This is a Prokofiev Second to conjure with: shapely, subtle, nuanced, musical in every detail. You can sense the hushed focus of the orchestral musicians, intent on reflecting every gesture of the soloist. Rana’s lithe and nimble interpretation restores the
Read more humanity to this often brutalized score.

There’s a menacing, dry, hyper-articulate Vivace that seems over before it has begun, followed by a rhythmically incisive Intermezzo of Mendelssohnian delicacy, its glissandos as fine as cobwebs, all of it culminating in a finale that sheds new light on this concerto’s architecture and emotional cohesion.

Space limitations preclude a description of this bejewelled imperial Russian Tchaikovsky Concerto, its life and breath emanating not from any straining after novelty but from a fresh, close reading of a beloved score we all thought we knew. I can’t think of another recent concerto release that, beginning to end, affords greater pleasure. Bravissimo tutti!

- Gramophone

The Prokofiev Second seems to have become a popular favorite in recent years, among pianists at least, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s not as overplayed as the Third, and it requires little in the way of interpretive nuance and lots of what most young pianists today have in abundance: technical chops. This doesn’t mean that the music doesn’t reward interpretive nuance, and happily Rana has a good bit of that too. She inflects the music’s lyrical passages in the outer movements with natural elegance, and builds the zany cadenza in the first movement with both great musicality and (of course) the necessary virtuoso brilliance.

However, it’s in the Tchaikovsky concerto where she reveals her sensitivity and musical intelligence to best effect. In passages that can easily turn tacky, she offer sentiment rather than sentimentality. The first movement hangs together with uncommon cogency; the central Andantino is truly “semplice” in the best sense of the term: unaffected. Her scales and passage work in the movement’s middle section sizzle with engaging lightness. It helps to have a genuine collaborator in Pappano on the podium. Just listen to how the two cooperate in managing transitions–such as the bridge between the finale’s two main subjects (sound clip). There’s real give-and-take here, and a sense that both soloist and orchestra share the same vision.

- ClassicsToday Read less

Works on This Recording

Concerto for Piano no 2 in G minor, Op. 16 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Beatrice Rana (Piano)
Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913/1923; USSR 
Venue:  Sala Santa Cecilia, Auditorium Parco del 
Length: 31 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Concerto for Piano no 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Beatrice Rana (Piano)
Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Venue:  Sala Santa Cecilia, Auditorium Parco del 
Length: 34 Minutes 19 Secs. 

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