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Europa Konzert 2011 - Madrid / Canizares, Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic

Chabrier / Berliner Philharmoniker / Canizares
Release Date: 09/27/2011 
Label:  Euroarts   Catalog #: 2058398  
Composer:  Emmanuel ChabrierJoaquin RodrigoSergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Juan Manuel Cañizares
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Also available on Blu-ray


RACHMANINOFF Symphony No. 2. RODRIGO Concierto de Aranjuez. CHABRIER España & Simon Rattle, cond; Juan Manuel Cañizares (gtr); Berlin PO Read more EUROARTS 2058398 (DVD: 105:00) 2058394 (Blu-ray: 105:00) Live: Madrid 5/1/2011

& Interview with Simon Rattle

Count me among the people Richard A. Kaplan suggests would enjoy this performance of Rachmaninoff’s Second as an emotional roller-coaster. Although Simon Rattle is prone, as Kaplan reports, to equating loud with fast and soft with slow, overall I find his interpretation to be fairly patiently shaped, as at the beginning, with the well-managed buildup from the Largo introduction. The Chabrier, about as unlike Rachmaninoff as a previous-generation Romantic can be, is crisp and lively.

The Rodrigo concerto features the soloist who usually goes by the single name Cañizares. He takes a flamenco approach to much of the score—an approach that is not notated by Rodrigo and is generally avoided by classical-oriented guitarists. This ranges from a few “stinging” notes here and there to a big flamenco outburst coming out of the tutti near the end of the first movement. Don’t misunderstand; this is not a crass performance. Much of it, in fact, is low-key—most of the slow movement’s cadenza is taken quite slowly, and elsewhere some of the solo playing, especially in the third movement, is soft-edged and quiet. Overall, it’s an effective but not a “consensus” approach, which is good reason to add yet another Concierto de Aranjuez to your collection.

The video production includes some vertiginous shots from the uppermost balcony; acrophobic viewers should beware. Otherwise, video and audio standards are the usual for the Blu-ray format, with a 16:9 aspect ratio, and the DTS surround audio proving superior to the PCM 2.0. This seems to be the only Blu-ray edition of the Rachmaninoff or Rodrigo, although there are mainstream alternatives on standard DVD (Ormandy and Bychkov for the Russian, Williams and Pepe Romero for the Spaniard). If you prefer high-resolution video and have a taste for performances just a tiny bit outside the mainstream, you may buy this without trepidation.

FANFARE: James Reel


Recorded live at the Teatro Real, Madrid, 1 May 2011.

- Interview with Sir Simon Rattle

Picture format: NTSC 16:9
Sound format: PCM Stereo / Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Booklet notes: English, German, French
Running time: 97 mins (concert) + 8 mins (interview)
No. of DVDs: 1
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Works on This Recording

España by Emmanuel Chabrier
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; France 
Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Juan Manuel Cañizares (Guitar)
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; Spain 
Symphony no 2 in E minor, Op. 27 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906-1907; Russia 

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