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Grieg, Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos / Sa Chen, Lawrence Foster, Gulbenkian Orchestra

Rachmaninov / Gulbenkian Orch / Foster
Release Date: 11/15/2011 
Label:  Pentatone   Catalog #: 5186444  
Composer:  Edvard GriegSergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sa Chen
Conductor:  Lawrence Foster
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gulbenkian Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

"Hyperion’s far-ranging Romantic Piano Concerto series, now approaching 60 volumes, has been incalculably valuable, if, for no other reason than for making us aware of the sheer profusion of concerted works written for piano and orchestra throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. And while not every one of the compositions has been a masterpiece, many have struck me as being at least equal, if not superior, to Grieg’s contribution.

Now here comes Sa Chen, a young, prize-winning Chinese pianist, serving up yet another recording of Grieg’s battle-fatigued warhorse. Yet I have to say that if anyone can persuade me that
Read more it’s a better piece of music than I think it is, Chen is the one to do it. Her performance is a powerhouse packed with pianistic prowess. Ronald E. Grames, in his review of Chen’s Pictures at an Exhibition (Fanfare 33:3), quotes a friend as saying, “She plays like a man.” If by that he meant that Chen possesses the strength in her fingers, hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, and upper torso to send the piano’s keys right through the bottom of the keyboard and onto the floor, then I’d have to agree. But, of course, there’s more to her playing than sheer muscularity; she’s equally responsive to the music’s poetic gestures and moments of melodic suppleness. Grieg’s concerto has never sounded more convincing than it does in Chen’s performance."

FANFARE: Jerry Dubins
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 16 by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Sa Chen (Piano)
Conductor:  Lawrence Foster
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gulbenkian Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868/1907; Norway 
Concerto for Piano no 2 in C minor, Op. 18 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sa Chen (Piano)
Conductor:  Lawrence Foster
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gulbenkian Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 

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