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Reviews: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2, Grieg: Piano Concerto - Sa Chen, Lawrence Foster

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Reviews: 2

Site review by Polly Nomial March 5, 2012
Performance:   Sonics:  
The text for this review has been moved to the new site. You can read it here:

Review by Windsurfer March 5, 2012 (9 of 13 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
A few months ago, a friend in Iran sent me a link to a translation of "Water's Footfalls" by Sohrab Sepehri.

"Water's Footfalls"? If that doesn't provoke your curiosity and if you think to yourself: "Are you kidding me? - What nonsense!" Then don't read any further.

The poem includes the following lines:

"We are not to comprehend;
the secret of roses, but maybe
swimming in the incantation of roses.
Or maybe looking for
the song of truth
between the morning glory,
and the century."

If you fail to appreciate the above, if you think it is silly, worthless, incomprehensible nonsense, I suspect you will not enjoy the lucid lovely sounds, and the aura, the building culmination of sheer beauty that these sounds create as Sa Chen's Rachmaninov 2 unfolds.

None of this would be possible if PentaTone did not provide a spectacularly natural recording. Nothing calls attention to itself other than the miracle of Sa Chen's astonishingly lovely sounds.

For me, this is the most wonderful piano recording I ever heard. I revel in these sounds from Sa Chen's piano, just as I revel in the notion of "the incantation of roses"

I hope you too will investigate and enjoy this as much as I. It is curious how differently different people can hear the same thing....or is it the same thing when heard over different audio systems ???

An addendum:

I regret my initial enthusiasm for PentaTone's sound. I was so taken by the pianist's right hand, and I do remain rather amazed by that sound, that in my mind apparently, I glossed over some degree of muddiness in the bass. I think it is not so much a problem with the piano as it is a problem of the recording of the orchestra. So I am reducing my sonic rating by one half point.

Bruce Zeisel aka Windsurfer

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