Alfred Schnittke: The Piano Concertos Nos. 1 - 3

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
Many, perhaps most, listeners may lose interest in this disc of Schnittke's three piano concertos after the first concerto ends. But some, not a lot, perhaps, but a very enthusiastic minority, will gain interest after that. The "Concerto for piano and orchestra" from 1960 shows the influence of Bartók, with lots of brass and percussion in the outer movements and plenty of swashbuckling pianism throughout. The "Concerto for piano and strings" from 1979, however, is a more dissonant, allusive, and often frankly brutal work, and the "Concerto for piano four hands and chamber orchestra" from 1988 is more fractured and fractious still, driving the soloists and the orchestra to...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
Many, perhaps most, listeners may lose interest in this disc of Schnittke's three piano concertos after the first concerto ends. But some, not a lot, perhaps, but a very enthusiastic minority, will gain interest after that. The "Concerto for piano and orchestra" from 1960 shows the influence of Bartók, with lots of brass and percussion in the outer movements and plenty of swashbuckling pianism throughout. The "Concerto for piano and strings" from 1979, however, is a more dissonant, allusive, and often frankly brutal work, and the "Concerto for piano four hands and chamber orchestra" from 1988 is more fractured and fractious still, driving the soloists and the orchestra to the brink of collapse in the climaxes. In these splendid and spirited performances by the amazingly agile Ewa Kupiec, all three concertos sound like big works in the virtuoso tradition. Conductor Frank Strobel leads the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin in skillful and sympathetic accompaniments for Kupiec, and second pianist Maria Lettberg is an admirable foil for her in the "Concerto for piano four hands." For listeners who prefer their twentieth century music firmly rooted in the modernist tradition, the "Concerto for piano and orchestra" may be highly enjoyable. For listeners who prefer the edgier post-modernist avante-garde, the later two concertos may be preferable. And some listeners with broader tastes might even enjoy the whole disc. Phoenix's super audio sound is the next best thing to being there.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/26/2008
  • Label: Phoenix Edition
  • UPC: 811691011035
  • Catalog Number: 103

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–3 Piano Concerto - Alfred Schnittke & Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra (27:34)
    Composed byAlfred Schnittke
    Conducted byFrank Strobel
    Performed byBerlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Frank Strobel
    1. 1Allegro
    2. 2Andante
    3. 3Allegro
  2. 4 Concerto for piano & strings - Alfred Schnittke & Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra (24:55)
    Composed byAlfred Schnittke
    Conducted byFrank Strobel
    Performed byBerlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Frank Strobel
  3. 5 Concerto for piano, 4 hands & chamber orchestra - Alfred Schnittke & Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra (20:37)
    Composed byAlfred Schnittke
    Conducted byFrank Strobel
    Performed byBerlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Frank Strobel
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Frank Strobel Primary Artist
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