This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
From Perahia and Abbado, the Piano Concerto comes across with refreshing eagerness, as if Schumann could scarcely pause for breath in an uprush of inspiration.
Whereas Perahia's 1989 release of Schumann's Piano Concerto (an excitingly vivid live recording with Sir Colin Davis) had Grieg's as bedfellow, here he follows Dalberto's excellent example (Denon, 6/94 — nla) in rescuing Schumann's two later works for piano and orchestra, of which the sorely neglected last in D minor was part of his birthday present for Clara barely six months before his breakdown. Though less immediately earcatching than the Mendelssohnian G major work (where Perahia's exhilarating homecoming silences often heard accusations of protraction),
Schumann's farewell to the genre — as played here — strikes me as by far the more intense and laden of the two, with eventual major-key victory won after deeper internal struggle. Not for nothing had Schumann just completed his long-postponed overture to his Scenes from Faust in the same dramatic key of D minor.
With a considerable number of versions already available, the Piano Concerto needs no special pleading. From Perahia and Abbado it comes across with refreshing eagerness, as if Schumann could scarcely pause for breath in an uprush of inspiration. But unflagging strength of direction by no means excludes the personal. The first movement, in particular, brings intimately revealing nuances of phrasing from Perahia, with a finely shaped, richly expressive cadenza before a delectably light-fingered, effervescent coda. Free of coy cosseting the Andante has a natural, gracious flow. However, I would have liked a more expansive melodic glow in the middle section, not least when the violins soar into the upper reaches (a masterstroke of orchestration) near its end. Piquantly crunched acciaccaturas at the start inject the finale with inexhaustible rhythmic buoyancy. Recorded in Berlin's Philharmonie the sound quality is vibrantly full and forward.
-- Joan Chissell, Gramophone [1/1998]
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 54 by Robert Schumann
Murray Perahia (Piano)
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1841-1845; Germany
Date of Recording: 12/1994
Venue: Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany
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