Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 - Dichter, Masur
PentaTone RQR PTC 5186 125
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat Op. 83, Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor Op. 13 "Pathetique"
Misha Dichter (piano)
Kurt Masur (conductor)
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Review by John Broggio - August 15, 2006
As with some of the RQR series on Pentatone, this disc proves to be a miss rather some of the spectacular hits they have provided us with before now. The main problem is Misha Dichter; despite the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Kurt Masur's best efforts in the Brahms, Dichter remains leaden and obstinate in his refusal to display the slightest element of fantasy. This is not to say that the phrases are consistently hammered or abruptly phrased (although too many are); it is more that the phrasing is all too literal with no overall shape given to either an individual phrase or the concerto as a whole. One hopes that the Hamelin disc will fare somewhat better: Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 - Hamelin, Litton
The Beethoven is a better performance than the Brahms (not that this would be hard for many amateur pianists to achieve) but some very basic rhythmic instabilities prevent me from recommending this reading. The piano tone is strangely thin and also muted in the treble register, making it sound a not-too-distant relation to the instrument that Brautigam uses (Beethoven: Complete Works for Solo Piano, Vol 01 - Brautigam); suffice to say that Brautigam is much more compelling in his artistry and I would strongly urge those who want a good Pathetique in good MCH to seek out the BIS disc instead.
The sound as noted has a curious effect upon the piano (the orchestra doesn't seem to suffer in the same way) but as the performances are completely dispensible, this shouldn't sway anyone either way.
Copyright © 2006 John Broggio and HRAudio.net