28 June 2009

Disc 10 - Concertos

The disc begins with a work that's new to me, the Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments. Movements:
Largo; allegro-maestoso
This piece dates from 1923/24, updated in 1950. Played here by Phillippe Entremont with the Columbia SO in 1960. There's a decent wikipedia entry. I'm surprised I haven't heard this before; it's a striking piece with a very lively first movement. The second movement is stately and contemplative, and the third completes it pleasantly - a spirited toccata combining with some calm processional music.

This disc ends with the Violin Concerto, with Isaac Stern and the Columbia SO.
Toccata 5:33
Aria 1: 4:09
Aria 2: 5:08
Capriccio: 5:55

It's a raw performance, with the violin sometimes sounding quite harsh against the orchestra. The sound is very close, quite unlike a more modern recording. The recording makes it sound rather like a chamber orchestra. I think Stern's playing is maybe more romantic than the work, which is essentially neo-classical, needs. The solo part is much more prominent here than in the other recording I have (Kyung Wha Chung), which makes several harsh discords much more obvious.

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