“You can really waltz to the opening Andante via the pianist’s liltingly inflected solo work and the songful yet never gushing string phrasing.”
“Whether or not these three iconic 20th-century piano-orchestral masterpieces have previously appeared together on a single CD, it’s a wonderful idea to do so. In an era of increasingly fun and indulgent Ravel G major Concerto performances, the direct, forthright and classically orientated approach that pianist Francesco Piemontesi and conductor Jonathan Nott favour in the first two movements refreshes.
If the classic Alfred Brendel recordings of the Schoenberg Concerto, are symphonic in nature, Piemontesi and Nott are decidedly balletic. You can really waltz to the opening Andante via the pianist’s liltingly inflected solo work and the songful yet never gushing string phrasing. The piano and orchestra breathe as a single choreographic entity in the brief Molto allegro, in contrast to Pollini and Abbado (DG, 7/90) rigidly hammering every musical nail and widget in place.
As usual, Nigel Simeone’s booklet notes inform as much as they gently provoke.Review by Jed Distler