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Liszt: Piano Concertos 1 & 2, Etc / Thibaudet, Dutoit


Release Date: 01/21/1992 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 433075   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Liszt
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

I have only praise. Each of the four works here is well characterized, and the typically Lisztian varying tempos are spot on.

This is the kind of disc that reminds us that CDs can offer pretty good value in terms of length compared with vinyl LPs which played for around 40-45 minutes, and of course having the Hungarian Fantasy and Totentanz along with the two concertos gives a collector a useful conspectus of Liszt's music for piano and orchestra. The Lyonnais pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet is not new to the catalogue, but this is the first concerto record of his that has come my way and on the evidence of this playing he is an artist of considerable temperament and technique who shows a real feeling for the panache,
Read more devilry and sheer seductive charm of the music. The skill and sensitivity of Charles Dutoit and his Montreal orchestra are already well proven, of course, as is the excellence of their recording venue of St Eustache's Church, and they, too, contribute greatly to the success of these performances. The piano sound seems faithful, and if here and there I would welcome a touch more glitter (whether gipsy or Gothic) that is perhaps asking illegitimately for it to be more sensational and less natural: at any rate, it is pleasing and the balance is of that right kind that allows the piano sound to blend into the orchestra's in places just as it would do in a concert performance. No less effective here are the many places where the music drops into a kind of chamber texture, with just one orchestral instrument featuring alongside the piano.

Indeed, I have only praise. Each of the four works here is well characterized, and the typically Lisztian varying tempos are spot on, unrushed but never deliberate and always leading naturally from one to the next. Climactic passages are powerful, but the sound remains pleasant and avoids the crudity that can emerge from these scores in less sensitive hands. In all, then, a fine issue. It joins a strong field, of course, but Richter's splendid 1961 Philips account of the two concertos with Kondrashin and the LSO has just those works and plays for a mere 39 minutes while remaining at full price. Zimerman's recent DG version is leonine yet sensitive, well recorded and arguably very special in its aristocratic quality, and for the concertos alone is probably still the best choice, but there again, his disc includes the Totentanz but not the Hungarian Fantasia and its 56 minutes are not as generous as the present well-played and well-recorded 69.

Christopher Headington, GRAMOPHONE (1/1992)
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Works on This Recording

1. Hungarian Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra, S 123 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1852; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1990 
Venue:  St. Eustache Church, Montréal, Canada 
Length: 14 Minutes 7 Secs. 
2. Concerto for Piano no 1 in E flat major, S 124 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849/1856; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1990 
Venue:  St. Eustache Church, Montréal, Canada 
Length: 17 Minutes 0 Secs. 
3. Concerto for Piano no 2 in A major, S 125 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839/1861; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1990 
Venue:  St. Eustache Church, Montréal, Canada 
Length: 20 Minutes 41 Secs. 
4. Totentanz, S 126 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849/1859; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1990 
Venue:  St. Eustache Church, Montréal, Canada 
Length: 15 Minutes 22 Secs. 

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