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Stellar performances, excellent sound.

S. Baird | Baton Rouge, LA United States | 08/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"But if there's one performance you might like better, it would be the Lupu/Previn recording on Decca (ASIN B00004C8TC). While Stephen Bishop-Kovacevich is more appreciative of the Grieg's introspection - especially in the lovely adagio - Lupu's is the more convincing. There is a strength to Lupu's that comes out here, that SBK chose not to use. The Decca recording is slightly better sounding too.Having said that, the deciding factor has to be Colin Davis. His many collaborations with SBK have yielded near-definitive performances of everything from Mozart to Beethoven, and he is, here, shown to better Previn in these two concerti. My advice: buy and enjoy them both."


Ryan Richards | Midland, MI United States | 03/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Mr. Kwok said it all, so I'll try not to reiterate too much. But "fiery, powerful performances" is indeed the adjective phrase to describe this CD. This is the Grieg and Schumann piano concertos on Dexedrine; although these performances have more or less the same tempi and phrasing as other interpretations, the orchestral and solo playing is no-holds-barred, tightly controlled power. I have minor qualms with some small phrases; e.g., there's much less ritardando at the end of the first movement of the Grieg concerto than I'm used to. However, Davis and Kovacevich made up for this with their brilliant portrayal of the second movement of that concerto, in which the lush piano chords seem suspended almost lovingly in midair. Overall, this CD leaves me with no need to listen to other interpretations of these concertos; in fact, the others I used to listen to sound almost anemic now. An excellent CD that was well worth reissuing and is well worth buying."

This one really does set the standard

Robert L. Edwards | New York, NY United States | 05/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"How can one rate a performance of such a warhorse as the Grieg as being "brilliant?" Because what Stephen Bishop Kovacevich does is enlightening and moving. Beyond the unequaled clarity of rapid-fire passages, there is both insight and feeling here that never slips into parody or presents a sense of mediocrity.

It seems almost impossible to hear a work such as this with fresh ears. I am embarrassed to admit that I missed this recording in its initial release and now realize that it may well be the standard to which all other performances should be compared. The combination of technical skills, depth of understanding and remarkable subtleties set this one apart. There were so many moments when listening to this that I thought, "Oh, of course that is the way it should be." Its a wonder that so many celebrated artists missed the truth in this piece.

The rapport and musical meeting of minds between SBK and Colin Davis is clear - their views match perfectly.

For the Greig alone, this is a must have. You will thank yourself for refreshing your heart, soul and mind with this one. Grab it."

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