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Cat. No. CHAN 6621(2) Price: £0 No. of discs: 2
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CHAN 6621 - Israela Margalit / LSO/LPO/Thomson - Brahms/ Menselssohn/Sain-SaŽns/Schumann: Romantic Piano Concertos
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Available From: 20 July 2000
Brahmsís First Piano Concerto was initially greeted with a somewhat hostile reaction by audiences who were obviously unhappy with both the vast scale of the work and, more particularly, with Brahmsís radical decision to divide the thematic material evenly between orchestra and soloist. The first movement boasts some five separate themes, each with a role to play in the structure. The ĎAdagioí which follows was inspired by Brahmsís feelings for Schumannís wife, whilst the Rondo finale boasts some of the composerís finest melodic creations.

Mendelssohn composed his ĎCapriccio brillantí in the space of two days. At the premiere in London, the audience insisted upon an immediate encore. Written shortly after his First Piano Concerto, the eleven-minute work comprises an exquisite ĎAndanteí followed by a stormy sonata-form ĎAllegro con fuocoí.

The inherent lyricism and almost mono-thematic development of Schumannís Piano Concerto results in an intimacy which has never failed to transfix audiences. From the opening piano flourish (which would inspire Grieg and Rachmaninov in their own concerti), this is a highly inventive score which makes considerable demands upon the soloist.

French wit, sophistication and style are the characteristics of Saint-SaŽnsís sparkling Second Piano Concerto. Between the dramatic piano opening and canonic ascent, and the final whirlwind tarantella, the listener is treated to a scintillating musical journey. The central movement encapsulates the spirit of the music with a second subject whose arrival represents something of a disruption to the calm proceedings.

ĎThese are bold and muscular performancesÖ More than most pianists she manages, largely through her superb control of dynamics, to draw the first movement of the Saint-SaŽns in a single arch.í

ĎChandos have provided a particularly brilliant recording of the solo piano, and the orchestral sound is very good.í

Ď[Margalit] draws a most beautiful and varied tone-quality from her instrument, and there is a particular flexibility of colour in her clear, elegant technique, and a sensitivity in her use of phrase which enables her to illumine Brahmsís musical argument in a very alive immediate fashion.í


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