Martha Argerich has few peers in this repertoire today, and in terms of sheer spontaneity in performance she's simply in a class of her own. Chopin's concertos are early works, and they always have taken their share of abuse owing to the composer's somewhat clunky orchestration. Of course, no one ever has had anything to say against the piano part, which is marvelous and which dominates the proceedings to the point where the orchestra is pretty irrelevant anyway. What makes these performances so special is that Dutoit not only stays in the background, where he belongs, but actually manages to offer the kind of intimate support that allows Argerich to literally do whatever she wants. (David Hurwitz, classicstoday.com)
This Belgian composer is not well known among U.S. audiences, although he has made several highly regarded appearances at the New Music America festivals. In Spain, however, where he was the subject of a major television special, he is a new-music celebrity. Mertens's style employs mesmerizing minimalist techniques with a sense of the romantic that appeals to both serious music aficionados and more mainstream listeners. The keyboardist uses a certain amount of electronics along with some acoustic instruments like violin, flute, and saxophone.
Pianist Youri Egorov first came to international prominence as the clear favorite among the 1977 Van Cliburn Competition’s semi-finalists. When Egorov failed to make the finals, outraged audience members raised funds to match the $10,000 first prize and present their hero in his New York recital debut. The critics raved, and Egorov’s career took off, flourishing for 10 years until his tragically early death from AIDS in 1988 at age 33.
Portrayed in Hilary and Jackie , notorious for her marriage to Daniel Barenboim and mourned for the life and career she lost to multiple sclerosis, Jacqueline du Pr+ª is still best remembered as one of the finest musicians Britain has ever produced. Few cellists could hope to achieve the level of mastery and emotion she poured into her treasured EMI recordings, collected here in complete form on 17 CDs: her stunning interpretations of Elgar, Dvorak, Beethoven, Schumann, Bach, Chopin, Haydn, Brahms, Strauss and more!
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli's classic recordings of the Ravel G major and Rachmaninov G minor concertos have never been out of the catalog since they first appeared more than 40 years ago. Surface and style are one in this music, and the Italian pianist remains unsurpassed for his icy precision and micro-detailing. He brings pinpointed elan to Rachmaninov's sizzling cross-rhythms in the Fourth Concerto's Allegro Vivace movement, as well as laser-like concentration to the tartly lush Largo. Few have matched Michelangeli's nuance and color in the Ravel concerto, and his seamless dispatch of Ravel's "singing sword" effect in the opening movement belies the notion that you can't bend notes on a piano.
Jacqueline du Pre’s career, though tragically brief, coincided with a golden age of recording. This 17-disc treasury unites her entire EMI Classics legacy and includes – for the first time on CD – two Bach sonata movements from her 1962 debut recital for the label. Interpretations long recognised as classic are joined by further rarities, among them the Lalo Cello Concerto, recorded with Daniel Barenboim and the Cleveland Orchestra in 1973, and, from 1968, Strauss’s Don Quixote under Sir Adrian Boult. This collection includes the very latest Abbey Road remasters of Du Pré’s recordings in one definitive boxed set and offers the listener the ultimate listening experience with a fantastic clarity of sound and dynamic range. The collection includes a full-colour 32-page booklet detailing the life and art of Du Pré in both words and pictures as well as a timeline overview of her career.
Karl Amadeus Hartmann (2 August 1905 – 5 December 1963) was a German composer. Some have lauded him as the greatest German symphonist of the 20th century, although he is now largely overlooked, particularly in English-speaking countries. A sinewy counterpoint drives much of Hartmann's music, whether in the neo-baroque piano pieces from the 1920s, or his final two symphonies. But he could also pack a considerable punch as in the Piano Sonata, inspired by the sight of a procession of concentration camp victims from Dachau.
EMI invited Daniel Barenboim to record the complete series, with the English Chamber Orchestra, as conductor and soloist. The recordings were made at London's Abbey Road Studios between 1967 and 1974.
…Zacharias began recording for EMI the following year, and would, by 1997, make over 40 albums for the label, covering a broad range of repertory, including Mozart (complete concertos and sonatas), Beethoven (complete concertos), Scarlatti, Schubert, Schumann, and many others. Despite great success throughout the 1980s and early '90s in his keyboard career, Zacharias decided to take up conducting in 1992. His debut was in Geneva with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande…