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  Universal (Japan) -
  Grieg, Schumann: Piano Concertos - Lupu/Previn
  Grieg: Piano Concerto, Schumann: Piano Concerto

Radu Lupu (piano)
London Symphony Orchestra
Andre Previn (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 2

Reviews: 2

Review by Daland January 13, 2005 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is one of the best stereo SACDs in this series. It offers warm, well-focussed sound that opens up in the typical Decca fashion. The sense of space is very impressive as is the dynamic range. One hardly misses the rear speakers. Radu Lupu's performance has long been regarded as one of the best in the catalogue, and it is now available in better sound than ever. The soloist combines a bold, fiery approach with poetry and delicacy. The LSO under André Previn provides first-class accompaniment. Even though the SACD is expensive and the programme short measure, it can be warmly recommended, all the more as this is the first rendering of Schumann's Piano Concerto in this format (if I am not mistaken).

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Review by sgb July 5, 2005 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I would certainly concur with Daland's assessment of Lupu's performances on these recordings especially the Grieg which, IMHO, has few peers in the catalogue. Lupu is a bit heavy handed with the Grieg, and that suits me just fine. After becoming accustomed to his emphatic, almost overtly masculine, reading especially in the adagio  I've found it difficult to return to the more reserved performances. Even Kovacevich's famous recording with Colin Davis strikes me just a bit too weak after hearing Lupu work his magic.

As for the sound, I was quite impressed with the improvements that Decca brought to this with their 2000 reissue as a 96/24 PCM "super digital transfer." There is a richness to the strings and an overall openness to the recording that I had not heard in two vinyl pressings.

Although I'll concede that there are some very small improvements over the 2000 CD, I would differ with Daland's characterization of it. This is especially in view of the very high price one has to pay for this in the USA (my copy was $36 from an importer). For the most part, the Legends CD sounds every bit as good as this in terms of its frequency response and dynamics, but might lack just a bit of air in the highest frequencies. My recommendation is therefore cautiously extended. If you already have a copy of the CD, take comfort in knowing you are 99.5% of the way here.

(Performance stars are for the Grieg.)

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Works: 2  

Edvard Grieg - Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16
Robert Schumann - Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54