A splendid coupling of fine performances of first-rate music, what more could the discerning listener want? Putting Schumann's three works for piano and orchestra together on a single disc is an obvious idea that has only too rarely been realized. But, of course, it makes perfect sense: Schumann's Piano Concerto is one of the great Romantic piano concertos and his Introduction and Allegro appassionato and Introduction and Allegro, while not perhaps at the same exalted level, are still poetic, virtuosic, and attractive works. Jeno Jando, the most versatile pianist in the world today and the obvious heir to Michael Ponti, plays Schumann's technically taxing works with panache and aplomb. If some listeners might prefer one of the big labels' big names, others might prefer the freshness and vigor of Jando. And if some old-time listeners might prefer Serkin in the Introductions, his performances are not available on disc so Jando has the field pretty much to himself. The various accompanists acquit themselves with varying degrees of glory and none of them with shame. Naxos' sound is clear and warm, but just a wee bit wan.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54|