Second concerto is a constant source of delight, and a new recording
is always welcome. Graz-born Vorraber has recorded the complete
Schumann for Thorofon. He is an impressive pianist, with the
right idea of 'Romantic sweep' as well as being equipped with
the requisite delicacy. The piano sound - Vorraber uses a Steinway
- has good depth and the interpreters do well with the 'free-form
first movement (12'50). Vorraber sparkles well in the 'Allegro
scherzando', just occasionally veering towards the too-heavily-toned.
A pity though that the piano trills in the finale do not buzz
with more energy and it is here, curiously, that his sparkle
could do with the application of a smidgen of Duraglit.
if you plan to hear the disc straight through – there is too
short a break between the two works here included. Having said
that, perhaps it isn't too good an idea anyway. A promising
start to the 'New World' (fair drama, plus silent rests that
are actually counted correctly for once) leads alas to a low-voltage
Allegro molto, with a very, very indulgent second subject. When
we arrive around the eight-minute mark, Berg is really losing
the thread. Basically this conductor shows no evidence of the
ability to hear structurally whatsoever.
tuning in the opening wind chords of the famous Largo should
have been dissected in rehearsal as in concert it is fairly
painful. The strings try for some level of 'Innigkeit' but do
not really achieve their objective, while the 'moment of magic'
of the oboe's semiquaver entrance at 8'04 represents another
Scherzo imbued with some life needs to be still more on-the-ball.
The Trio is far too slow; it sounds just like a rehearsal speed.
The final chord of this movement, actually, sums up the entire
performance: half-hearted and not exactly together.
recording itself seems lacking in depth for the opening of the
finale, but at last there is some grit from the strings. Too
late, realistically, though, and Berg keeps on losing the dramatic
thrust of the argument. I take it that it was fear that made
the principal horn player slur up to his high (sounding) E natural
in this movement; whatever it was, it does not encourage repeated
A disappointing release.