New DVD Release: Barenboim and Boulez - Liszt piano concertos plus Faust and Siegfried Idyll.

Written By The Wagnerian on Tuesday, 28 February 2012 | 6:07:00 pm

I recently received this  release and thought it might be of interest:


ACCENTUS Music release Liszt Piano Concertos on DVD and Blu-ray

 Daniel Barenboim on the piano and Pierre Boulez perform both of Liszt’s Piano Concertos in a single concert - recorded live at the Philharmonie Essen in June 2011

“A real miracle, like catching two stars in a rare celestial conjunction… no wonder the audience went into delirium at the end. They knew they’d witnessed something utterly extraordinary”. – The Daily Telegraph

Daniel Barenboim and Pierre Boulez first met in Berlin nearly 50 years ago. In 2011 the two giants of the classical-music world joined forces to pay homage to Liszt during his 200th anniversary year in a stunning concert which was performed at venues in Austria, Germany and the UK . ACCENTUS Music filmed the musicians in Essen for a live recording of this landmark concert, which is available on DVD and Blu-ray from 27th February (UK), 20th February (Germany), 28th February (USA), 6th March (France).

Described by Richard Morrison of The Times as “the greatest Chalk and Cheese Show in the classical-music world” after meeting them both in Berlin*, Barenboim and Boulez both regard Franz Liszt as one of the most important pioneers of modern music, influencing revolutionary contemporaries such as Robert Schumann and Richard Wagner. Two examples of the latter’s magnificent orchestral work round off the concert programme – the overture to Faust and Siegfried Idyll.

This is the first time that Barenboim has tackled both of the highly virtuosic piano concertos in a single concert. Pierre Boulez, his friend and esteemed colleague of many years conducted Barenboim’s own orchestra, the Staatskapelle Berlin and both musicians were showered with praise on the European tour.

The premiere of Liszt’s First Piano Concerto took place in Weimar in 1855 with Liszt himself at the piano and Hector Berlioz conducting. The impressive partnership of Barenboim and Boulez on this ACCENTUS Music recording reflects the significance of the work’s first performers.

Liszt’s two piano concertos form the transition between the pianistic works of his youth and the symphonic compositions of his middle and later periods. Both works are notable for their increasing tendency to fuse their movements together in a single form, a practice which caused many of Liszt’s critics to react to his innovations with bewilderment and dismay.

This new release from ACCENTUS Music, the first of 2012, captures the dazzling musicianship of these two iconic performers and the Staatskapelle Berlin.

*A revised version of Richard Morrison’s interview with Daniel Barenboim and Pierre Boulez is included in the DVD and Blu-ray booklet.