Andras Schiff Plays Bach (EuroArts) + Daniel
Barenboim – The Warsaw Recital/Fryderyk Chopin + Evgrny Kissin, Mikolai Demidenko – The Piano Concertos/ Fryderyk Chopin
(Accentus Music/Naxos Blu-rays)
B- Sound: B Extras: C+/C/C Concerts: B
always a good thing when a new label starts releasing titles, especially in the
relatively new Blu-ray format. Among the
impressive companies Naxos distributes
(including titles from their own home label), Accentus has joined their family
of high quality labels and we will look at two of their first titles in this
latest look at Classical Music in High Definition.
comes another solid release from EuroArts, Andras
Schiff Plays Bach, delivering French Suites Nos. 1 – 6, Overture in the French
Style in B minor on piano. These
concerts that isolate the player usually work out well enough, though with the
burden on one artist, things could go wrong but Schiff has a fine command of
Bach and this is one of the best Bach titles we have covered to date.
program was taped 6/11/10 and lasts 132 minutes, which could have worn out its
welcome, but instead, Schiff plays the music with a grasp and familiarity that
gives it the kind of life you would get form the best performances of the
master’s works. He is in his own zone
very quickly as he starts playing and it stays that way the whole time, which
is the sign of a truly gifted pianist. I
was impressed and this will stick with me for a very long time.
strong Bach on Blu-ray, try this link:
the two Accentus titles, both of which happen to feature music by Fryderyk
Chopin on the occasion of his 200th Birthday! First we get the always great Daniel Barenboim (it is his 60th
Birthday and his talents remain undiminished) here playing The Warsaw Recital with 11 great pieces of his work including:
for Piano in F minor/A flat major, B 137/Op. 49
for piano No. 8 in D flat major, Op. 27/2, CT. 115
for Piano no 2 in B flat minor, B 128/Op. 35 "Funeral March"
for Piano in F sharp major, B 158/Op. 60
piano No. 4 in F major, Op. 34/3, CT. 210
piano No. 3 in A minor, Op. 34/2, CT. 209
piano No. 7 in C sharp minor, Op. 64/2, CT. 213
for piano in D flat major, Op. 57, CT. 7
for Piano in A flat major, B 147/Op. 53 "Heroic"
(5) for Piano, B 61/Op. 7
piano No. 6 in D flat major ("Minute"), Op. 64/1, CT. 212
we get Evgrny Kissin, Mikolai Demidenko
– The Piano Concertos continuing this celebration in more impressive
pianowork playing the following compositions:
for Piano no 1 in E minor, B 53/Op. 11
for Piano no 2 in F minor, B 43/Op. 21
(4) for Piano, B 77/Op. 17
(12) for piano, Op. 10, CT. 14-25
Piano in E Minor, Op. Post.
them both very much and could not choose between the two if I had to. Fans should just settle for both.
1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on all three have good color, but also
some softness and motion blur inherent to interlaced HD, but they can be more
stable than usual since it is solo pianists.
The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mixes on all three Blu-rays
sound good, have fine soundfields and even appropriate ones when they are
reproducing the concert hall sound.
Though none are extraordinary, they are all exceptionally clean
recordings. PCM 2.0 Stereo versions are
also included, though they cannot match the DTS-MA mixes.
the usual informative booklets inside each case, while the discs have trailers
for other Blu-ray releases and Schiff
adds an outstanding on-camera interview with Schiff about Bach that is one of
the best analyses you will ever hear. I
wish he did a mini-series on the subject.
Chopin on disc, try these links:
Art Of Chopin DVD
Lang Lang: Live In Vienna Blu-ray
- Nicholas Sheffo