LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL Archives

CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL@COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL  January 2005

CLASSICAL January 2005

Subject:

Michelangeli Recital from the BBC Vaults

From:

Scott Morrison <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 17 Jan 2005 13:02:05 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (71 lines)

Michelangeli: BBC Legends disc
Beethoven, Debussy, Ravel (Gaspard)
BBCL 4064-2

5/5 stars

A Stunning 'Gaspard' and more

This CD is taken from the vaults of BBC radio and is part of their 'BBC
Legends' series.  The performances here are mostly from a Royal Festival
Hall recital in 1982, a recital in which Michelangeli was reportedly
running a fever but refused to cancel; considering his reputation for
canceling for all kinds of reasons, we should be glad he went ahead with
this one because it is superb.  Also included is a performance from 1959
of one of his specialties, Ravel's 'Gaspard de la nuit.'

That 'Gaspard' is one of the most astonishing performances I've
ever heard.  Michelangeli, who had a reputation for adding somewhat
idiosyncratic accents and dynamics, plays this one absolutely straight
and it is one for the ages.  This is the same performance included in
the Philips 'Great Pianists of the 20th Century' but a comparison shows
that this BBC release is actually in somewhat better sound.  Granted,
it is from 1959, but the sound is really quite good and I don't think
anyone will feel they've missed anything in the 45-year-old sonics.
Just listen to how he brings out nuances in 'Ondine.' I heard things
(a prefiguration of the tolling bell in 'Le gibet,' for instance) that
I'd never heard before.  'Le gibet' is devastating in its desolation.
'Scarbo,' while not as fast as Argerich's celebrated recording, is
cleaner than hers and this is, amazingly, a reportedly un-retouched LIVE
performance.  Pianists of all stripes can only gape in amazement at this
man's technique.  He not only plays extraordinarily cleanly (listen to
the repeated notes in 'Scarbo') but the variety in his touch, even in
this 1950s sound, is simply astounding.  This performance is definitely
one for every music-lover's collection.

In the 1982 recital there are two Beethoven sonatas--Michelangeli didn't
play all that many Beethoven sonatas, but these two were specialties of
his.  There have been quibbles about his over-emphatic early Beethoven,
but you won't hear that from me.  His emotional approach, with emphasized
sforzati and dynamic contrasts, strike me as equally valid to rather
more lyrical approaches.  The andante and variations first movement of
the Op.  26 sonata is a good deal more dramatic than one generally hears
it, and considering that this is the only Beethoven sonata without a
sonata-allegro movement, this movement takes the place of one; Michelangeli's
choice to play it dramatically helps make it the linchpin of the sonata.
The slow movement, a funeral march, is wrenching in its intensity.  (An
brass band arrangement of this movement was played at Beethoven's funeral.)
The Op.  7 sonata, usually played in a classical manner, is also quite
intense and frankly I think it benefits from this approach.  I will admit
that I am smitten with Michelangeli's playing and willing to accept
pretty much whatever he does.  One reason, aside from his monumental
technique, is that he is a thinking musician whose choices are not lightly
taken.  This is not to say that there aren't lyrical passages in this
early sonata; the largo second movement has lyricism to spare, and
Michelangeli's control of the slow harmonic motion of this movement is
a lesson in concentration for other lesser pianists.

Michelangeli was a genius at the music of Debussy and we can be thankful
that he extracted the 'Hommage a Rameau' from that composer's first book
of 'Images' for this recital.  This is not watery, feminine Debussy; it
has spine and form that it often is deprived of by other pianists.  It
is magical.

I can recommend this disc with complete confidence.

TT=3D78'26"

Review at
   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005A8FG/classicalnetA/

Scott Morrison

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
July 1997

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager