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Piano Essentials
     

Piano Essentials

by Jean-Yves Thibaudet
 
While it makes perfect marketing sense to identify Piano Essentials with its three excellent performers, Hélène Grimaud, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Michel Béroff (with Grimaud's name presented in the boldest letters to draw the most attention), this is really just a compilation of eight tracks taken from older albums put together with little imagination for Denon

Overview

While it makes perfect marketing sense to identify Piano Essentials with its three excellent performers, Hélène Grimaud, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Michel Béroff (with Grimaud's name presented in the boldest letters to draw the most attention), this is really just a compilation of eight tracks taken from older albums put together with little imagination for Denon's cost-cutting Classical Essentials series. Grimaud, Thibaudet, and Béroff are among the most attractive musicians to be found on Denon, and their skills are well-represented in the polished performances here. However, the choices for this CD are quite predictable, with the opening movement of Sergey Rachmaninov's perennial "Piano Concerto No. 2" giving a clue to how overly familiar the rest of the selections will be. The following solo piano works by Frédéric Chopin, Claude Debussy, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, and Johannes Brahms are every bit as famous and regularly anthologized, so listeners should consider whether this disc is more important to have than dozens of similar collections that are readily available. These recordings were originally released in the late '80s and early '90s, so all are digital and have great reproduction; moreover, the album's levels are consistently balanced, so there are no sudden changes in volume or sound quality. As far as budget samplers go, this can serve as a decent introduction to piano music for beginners, but more experienced listeners should try to acquire the original albums, if these performances hold special appeal.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/05/2008
Label:
Denon Records
UPC:
0795041768322
catalogNumber:
17683
Rank:
160012

Tracks

  1. Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18: 1. Moderato
  2. Ballade for piano No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23, CT. 2
  3. La plus que lente, waltz for piano (or orchestra), L. 121
  4. Waltz for piano No. 2 in A flat major, Op. 34/1, CT. 208
  5. Kreisleriana No. 2, for piano in B flat major, Op. 16/2
  6. La fille aux cheveux de lin ("Sur la luzerne en fleur"), song for voice & piano, L. 33
  7. Liebesträume, notturno for piano No. 3 in A flat major ("O Lieb, so lang du lieben kannst"), S. 541/3 (LW A103/3)
  8. Intermezzo for piano in A major, Op.118/2

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