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Schumann: Piano Concerto, Etc; Franck / Neumann, Moravec


Release Date: 01/23/2001 
Label:  Supraphon   Catalog #: 3508   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Robert SchumannCésar Franck
Performer:  Ivan Moravec
Conductor:  Václav Neumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Make no mistake about it, Ivan Moravec ranks among the handful of today's (and any day's) keyboard geniuses. His recordings tend to come few and far between, so it's especially exciting to be able to welcome these transcendent interpretations back into the catalog. This Schumann concerto certainly belongs among the best ever recorded. From the opening note you can tell something special is happening: those marvelous Czech winds, the pure poetry that marks Moravec's phrasing of the opening tune, the steady way soloist and conductor call the orchestra to life in the ensuing transition, the chamber music-like exchanges between Moravec and the Czech Philharmonic, his willingness to accompany when the
Read more music calls for it--all of these traits bear the hallmarks of true greatness. And make no mistake, for all his sensitivity to nuance, Moravec's vision of this music has no inhibitions whatsoever. Listen to how, for example, he takes the first movement recapitulation with more confidence than the first time around, no mere literal repeat, or to the huge wall of piano sound he conjures up in the same movement's closing two or three minutes. Similarly, the finale swings with an impetuous rhythmic thrust almost physical in its impact. What a joy this performance is!


Moravec's Franck Symphonic Variations manage to combine both suave elegance and brilliance in perfect proportion. The way Moravec coaxes the maximum intensity of sound from the upper registers of the keyboard without ever becoming clattery or shrill is simply marvelous, and once again Neumann and the Czech Phil offer spirited support. In Kinderszenen Moravec takes center stage alone, with no less delicious results. In Hasche-Mann, he demonstrates that the appearance of speed depends as much on articulation and balance of tone as on sheer velocity; while Träumerei proves conclusively that there's a big difference between being dreamy and being catatonic. Supraphon's remastering has these recordings sounding better than ever. In particular, they've managed to tame the Rudolfinum's vast reverberation without undue spotlighting or compromise in clarity. Pianophiles rejoice!
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 54 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Conductor:  Václav Neumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841-1845; Germany 
Date of Recording: 04/1976 
Venue:  Dvorak Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague 
Length: 32 Minutes 5 Secs. 
2. Kinderszenen, Op. 15 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1987 
Venue:  Dvorak Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague 
Length: 20 Minutes 50 Secs. 
3. Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestra, M 46 by César Franck
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Conductor:  Václav Neumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; France 
Date of Recording: 04/1976 
Venue:  Dvorak Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague 
Length: 16 Minutes 58 Secs. 

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