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Schumann, Mozart: Piano Concertos / Lipatti, Karajan, Et Al


Release Date: 04/09/2002 
Label:  Emi Great Recordings Of The Century Catalog #: 67775   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Robert SchumannWolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia OrchestraLucerne Festival Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Dinu Lipatti's renowned recording of the Schumann Piano Concerto makes a welcome reappearance in the distinguished ranks of EMI's 'Great Recordings of the Century' series. And well it might, for despite the obvious drawback of fifty-year-old sound there is indeed something special about it.

Illness brought the pianist's early death in 1950, just weeks after he had performed the Mozart C major Concerto at the Lucerne Festival, again with Karajan conducting. If the recorded sound of this live performance does not have the advantages of the occasional studio retake, there is the frisson of a special occasion running through every bar. In his excellent insert notes Richard Osborne mentions that the audience was aware of Lipatti's
Read more circumstances - he was by now mortally ill - and the reception they give the performance is nothing less than ecstatic.

A particularly interesting aspect of the Mozart performance is that Lipatti plays his own cadenzas. Since these are not widely available in printed form this recording does a service in bringing them to a wider public. They are well worth hearing too, inventive and appropriately judged. The same might also be said of the performance itself. The Lucerne orchestra is good enough, though not in the same league as the post-war Philharmonia (but then who was?). Conductor and pianist worked again and the music gains from their close liaison. Mozart's concertos are miracles of subtle interplay and the balances are beautifully made. There is a compelling intensity and sense of occasion which soon makes the dim sound recede in the listener's consciousness.

The Schumann is the better known of these performances, of course. In his notes Osborne refers to Lipatti confessing that he did not 'count on an unexpected factor, a remarkable but super-classical conductor who, instead of helping my timid romantic plans, put a break on my good intentions'. In fact this tension is rather effective tightening the music's drama and making the most of its range. There is always a special balance of classicism and romanticism in Schumann, as there is also in Mendelssohn and Berlioz, to name two of his contemporaries. So this approach of different views coming together is not at all inappropriate, since it is one of the contributory factors in the legendary status both pianist and performance have achieved.

- Terry Barfoot, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 54 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841-1845; Germany 
Date of Recording: 04/1948 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 29 Minutes 55 Secs. 
2. Concerto for Piano no 21 in C major, K 467 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/23/1950 
Venue:  Live  Kunsthause, Lucerne, Switzerland 
Length: 29 Minutes 10 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 54 (2002 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro affettuoso - Andante espressivo - Tempo 1 - Cadenza - Allegro molto
Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 54 (2002 Digital Remaster): II. Intermezzo (Andantino grazioso)
Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 54 (2002 Digital Remaster): III. Allegro vivace
Piano Concerto No.21 in C, K.467 (2002 Digital Remaster): I: Allegro maestoso (Cadenza:Dinu Lipatti)
Piano Concerto No.21 in C, K.467 (2002 Digital Remaster): II: Andante
Piano Concerto No.21 in C, K.467 (2002 Digital Remaster): III: Allegro vivace assai (Cadenza: Dinu Lipatti)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 The last word. March 10, 2014 By Dr. Mitchell Gurk (Spencer, MA) See All My Reviews "Lipatti as usual has the last word on the Schumann Concerto. Fully comparable to Murray Perahia with the BSO and Haitink live this season. Greatness." Report Abuse
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