Naxos are apparently
re-cycling their recordings. This Schumann
concerto was previously available on
8.505419.2 coupled with the Grieg, the
Op. 92 on 8.550506.2, coupled with the
Brahms Concerto No. 1 and the Op. 134
on 8.55318.2 coupled with the Brahms
Concerto No. 2.
The current coupling
makes sense, collecting together all
of Schumann’s concertante works for
piano and orchestra. This combination
has not been tried too often in the
past, but even so, there is formidable
competition from a Sony budget release
with Rudolf Serkin and The Philadelphia
Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy.
In addition to the three works on the
Naxos release, Sony have also included
a performance of the Manfred Overture.
This would not be too
bad if the Jando performances were competitive,
but unfortunately here the concerto
is very sleepy, with only adequate playing
from the Budapest Symphony orchestra.
There is nothing actually wrong with
the performance, but the difference
is immediately noticeable when the Sony
disc is played alongside.
When we reach the BRT
Philharmonic accompanying the Introduction
and Allegro the situation is noticeably
worse with the voltage of the playing
being almost non-existent. Jando does
his best, but the stultifying effect
of this Belgian Orchestra proves too
much for him.
The Polish National
Radio Symphony Orchestra under their
conductor Antoni Wit fare much better
in the last work on the disc but only
14 minutes is too little to rescue this
With modern Naxos releases
being of a very high quality, by and
large, the producers who recommend these
re-couplings really ought to establish
what the competition is before committing
a release like this to the market.
Jando is a superb pianist,
given the right repertoire, and his
solo Schumann releases have generally
been well received. This disc however
is sunk by the orchestral contributions
and compared to many other Naxos offerings
at present, this one is something of
The production values
of the company have been maintained
with comprehensive notes and details
about the works in both English and
German, with a brief biography of Jando
in English only. No details are given
about the three ensembles for this disc.