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Emanuel Ax: Brahms Piano Concertos (Signed 2 CD Set)
Special Offer - CD Signed by Pianist Emanuel Ax! - Limited Quantities
 
All Signed CDs are unshrinkwrapped to allow for the signature.
 
SKU: 0154005
 
Emanuel Ax begins his program notes by describing his lifelong love affair with the Brahms Concertos and the never-ending challenges and rewards of performing them. On this 2-CD re-issue of recordings originally made between 1983 and 1997, this love speaks through every note. Playing from deep inside the music, he creates a sense of unhurried expansiveness, caressing the magical melodic and harmonic turns, making transitions and changes of mood and character seem natural and inevitable; his rhythm is unshakable yet flexible enough for perfectly balanced liberties. Making light of what he calls the concertos' terrifying difficulties, he puts his virtuosity entirely at the service of the music, projecting its stormy impetuousness, majestic grandeur, feathery lightness, radiant ecstasy, and inward expressiveness. The orchestras engage in a true partnership with the pianist, each matching the other's intensity of sound and emotion in constant give-and-take; the horn and cello solos in the second concerto are meltingly beautiful. Both concertos open with an extraordinary juxtaposition. In the first, the ominous timpani rumbles and tutti trills are answered by the piano's fervent pleading. In the second, the peaceful orchestral introduction is followed by the piano's outburst of passion and exuberance. The discs include three sets of Piano Pieces, grouped by genre. Written for Clara Schumann, Ax feels they are among Brahms's most intimate, personal works. In deeply felt performances, he brings out their pervasive melancholy resignation without losing their contrasting individual character. -- Edith Eisler
 
CD Contents:
 
Johannes Brahms 
Emanuel Ax, piano
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
James Levine, conductor
 
1. Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15
2. Rhapsodies (2) for piano, Op. 79 
3. Pieces (4) for piano, Op. 119: No. 4: Rhapsody in E-flat Major 
 
Johannes Brahms 
Emanuel Ax, piano
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Bernard Haitink, conductor

4. Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83 
5. Intermezzi (3) for piano, Op. 117
6. Pieces (4) for piano, Op. 119: No. 1: Intermezzo in B minor
7. Pieces (4) for piano, Op. 119: No. 2: Intermezzo in E Minor 
8. Pieces (4) for piano, Op. 119: No. 3: Intermezzo in C Major 
 
Total Playing Time: 2:28:30
Our price: $24.99
Igor Levit - Bach: Partitas (Signed 2 CD Set)
Special Offer - CD Signed by Pianist Igor Levit! - Limited Quantities
 
All Signed CDs are unshrikwrapped to allow for the signature. The interior booklet is signed.
 
SKU: 016602
 
Igor Levit has recorded Bach's Partitas BWV 825-830. It is the second release by the 27-year-old pianist, whom many regard as the greatest talent of his time. With his debut album, featuring the late Beethoven sonatas, Levit received critical acclaim and awards from international publications and organizations.
 
After Beethoven, Levit now turns his attention to Bach:
 
"It's simply amazing what Bach could do!" Levit exclaims "He had a command of form second to none. Take the long slow movement of Partita No. 6: at the end it's not a sarabande any more, but a crazy, radical free fantasy – incredibly emotional, it stands no comparison. It really shakes you up. This is music of the utmost perfection!"
 
And of the minuet from Partita No. 5, BWV 829 Levit says: "this is a humorous piece, not a minuet! And then suddenly it is one. And then it isn't."
 
Igor Levit has worked his way meticulously towards the famous Bach partitas. He read, studied and played music that came before Bach. While he was pursuing his research, he didn't play Bach at all. And then he spent three or four years on the partitas without performing them in concert until he had the feeling he had finally mastered the scores and could do them justice.
 
In the intervening period since his first album was released, the young pianist has become more laid-back, and that is immediately apparent from a comparison of the two albums. When he recorded the Beethoven sonatas, Levit seemed to be hurling all his strength at the keyboard, battling the elements, as it were. In the Bach partitas, a relaxed distance can be felt; a happy calm that makes it easy for the pianist to enjoy performing the music to the full.
 
"For the first time in my life, I have the feeling that the way I play now is just right for me" he says. "Everything comes together, inwardly and programmatically. I can see light at the end of the tunnel, and that's where I want to go. Since then, I've felt immensely relaxed. It's true that I had to struggle with every note from the Bach just like with Beethoven – but this time I enjoyed the struggle."

CD Contents:
 
Johann Sebastian Bach
Igor Levit, piano
 
Disc 1:
 
1-6. Partita No. 1 in B-Flat Major, BWV 825
7-12. Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826
13-19. Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828
 
Disc 2:
 
1-7. Partita No. 3 in A Minor, BWV 827
8-14. Partita No. 5 in G Major, BWV 829
15-21. Partita No. 1 in E Minor, BWV 830
 
Total Playing Time: 2:31:04
 
Our price: $29.99
Robin Sutherland - Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach (2 CD set)
SKU: 0946
 
Special Offer - CD Signed by Pianist Robin Sutherland! - Limited Quantities
 
All Signed CDs are unshrinkwrapped to allow for the signature.
 
Out of Print and unavailable for several years, we are happy to present a new pressing of Robin Sutherland's The Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach.
  
SFS Principal Pianist since 1973, Robin Sutherland began his musical career at the age of four. A finalist in the International Bach Competition at Washington, D.C., he has performed the entire keyboard works of Bach. The Goldberg Variations reflect Bach's work around 1740 for Count Kaiserling to be played by Goldberg during the often sickly count's sleepless nights.

Track List:
    Disc One
  1. Variation: Aria
  2. Variation: 1
  3. Variation: 2
  4. Variation: 3 - Canone all'unisuono
  5. Variation: 4
  6. Variation: 5
  7. Variation: 6 - Canone alla seconda
  8. Variation: 7
  9. Variation: 8
  10. Variation: 9 - Canone alla Terza
  11. Variation: 10
  12. Variation: 11
  13. Variation: 12 - Canone alla quarta
  14. Variation: 13
  15. Variation: 14
  16. Variation: 15 - Canone alla quinta
    Disc Two
  17. Variation: 16 - Ouverture
  18. Variation: 17
  19. Variation: 18 - Canone alla sesta
  20. Variation: 19
  21. Variation: 20
  22. Variation: 21 - Canone alla settima
  23. Variation: 22
  24. Variation: 23
  25. Variation: 24 - Canone all'ottava
  26. Variation: 25
  27. Variation: 26
  28. Variation: 27 - Canone alla nona
  29. Variation: 28
  30. Variation: 29
  31. Variation: 30 - Quodlibet
  32. Variation: Aria
Our price: $26.99