Notes and Editorial Reviews
Refined pianism … real nobility … charming gracefulness.
This is part of Tahra's unfurling ‘French Pianists’ series and it presents previously unreleased radio archive broadcast performances. They derive from the years 1954-58. Casadesus and Perlemuter have a disc each.
The Casadesus threesome - Gaby, Robert and Jean - essay one of their family favourites, the Concerto for three keyboards BWV 1063. This is a roughly hewn reading with some perhaps predictably monolithic accompaniment. It's a shame that it's next to impossible to differentiate the three musicians one from another but even so and in the context of the performance as a whole, it's a suitably sonorous and expressive experience.
The power and vitality of the finale certainly emerge unscathed from any sonic limitations.
Robert can also be heard in two Mozart concertos. K414 is accompanied by the sensitive and efficient Scarlatti Orchestra of Naples. He proves a lucid communicator though there are a few stumbles - there's a baddie at 4.50 into the first movement. Overarching all this is his sense of finesse and colour, the unimpeachable sense of logic and expression, how accompanying figures are just right, how tonal beauty is never promoted as an end in itself. True he does get rather lost at around 4.58 in the slow movement but one can easily overlook this in a live performance and savour instead the nuanced vitality of the finale. He recorded K491 with Szell but this NWDR performance is not in that league. This is a quite stern and roughly driven performance; passagework is especially terse and fiery, though we find refined pianism in the slow movement, and fine orchestral wind statements.
Perlemuter offers Mozart concerto, K467 with Fernand Oubradous. The piano is very forward in the balance and frequently covers orchestral lines - counter themes as well, much to the detriment of the musical argument. He too strikes an uncertain note - around 11.00 in the first movement - and the orchestra sounds hesitant as well, not coming in together at around 11.35 for instance. His left hand accompanying figures are rather heavy in the slow movement, a feature accentuated by the up-front recording balance. The finale is the best played and interpreted movement. There's also the C minor Beethoven concerto and here the balance is much better. Martinon accompanies strongly and sensitively. The actual piano tone may be a touch plummy but the playing itself is commanding, and the slow movement has real nobility, clarity and well judged rubati. There's a charming gracefulness to Perlemuter's playing of the finale and the few miss-hits are of no account. One feels him much more idiomatically focused in the Beethoven concerto than he had been in the Mozart.
Live performances invariably carry sonic or interpretative baggage. But despite the limitations these are valuable examples of the pianists’ work, though ones for which occasional largesse needs to be extended.
-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
Works on This Recording
Concerto for 3 Harpsichords in D minor, BWV 1063 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Robert Casadesus (Piano),
Gaby Casadesus (Piano),
Jean Casadesus (Piano)
Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin
Written: circa 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany
Concerto for Piano no 24 in C minor, K 491 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Robert Casadesus (Piano)
Northwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria
Concerto for Piano no 21 in C major, K 467 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Vlado Perlemuter (Piano)
Fernand Oubradous Chamber Orchestra
Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria
Concerto for Piano no 3 in C minor, Op. 37 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Vlado Perlemuter (Piano)
French National Orchestra
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria
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