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Classical - Released May 20, 2016 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released January 1, 2010 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions Choc de Classica
The key word for this disappointing Gershwin album is "no." Jean-Yves Thibaudet, in spite of his bright tone, brilliant technique, and buoyant sense of rhythm, is no Gershwin player, and his performances of Rhapsody in Blue, "I Got Rhythm" Variations, and the Piano Concerto, while technically impeccable, are stiff, angular, and awkward. Marin Alsop, for all her abilities and her undeniable affinity with the Baltimore Symphony, is no Gershwin conductor, and her performances, though big, bright, and sassy, are essentially dead from the neck down when it comes to rhythm, tempo, and especially syncopations. The use of the original jazz band versions of the rhapsody and the concerto, as well as the original manuscript version of the variations, is essentially pointless since Decca's sound is so lacking in clarity and detail that the lighter, leaner scores come off as bloated as later, heavier scores. There are good things here, though; the solos by various members of the Baltimore Symphony are far more in touch with the music than anything Thibaudet or Alsop can manage, though Alsop's rushed entrances frequently cover some of the solos. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2003 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 2002 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1992 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1996 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released November 20, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2005 | Decca (UMO)

One reason why it is better to be a music critic than a film critic is illustrated by this album. The poor film critic may be left to ponder why filmmakers have chosen to do so many screen adaptations of Jane Austen's 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice for both theatrical release and television broadcast, especially in recent years, and to weigh the competing talents of, say, Laurence Olivier, Colin Firth, and, now, Matthew MacFadyen in portraying the character of Mr. Darcy. But the music critic isn't really called upon to compare Herbert Stothart's score for the 1940 film with Carl Davis' music for the 1995 TV mini-series, and, now, Dario Marianelli's. They are entirely different entities and can be treated separately. As stated in a producers' note, the intention of the creators of the 2005 theatrical film Pride & Prejudice was to have Marianelli compose music that conceivably could have been heard at the time the story is set, in the late 18th century. Thus, he has come up with a couple of dance cues ("Meryton Townhall," "Another Dance") that actually recall the dance music of the period, as well as a march ("The Militia Marches In") that a military band actually might have been expected to play at the time. But the main scoring, calling upon Beethoven's sonatas for its inspiration, finds Marianelli providing music for pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, sometimes accompanied by the English Chamber Orchestra, that has a strong Romantic flavor to accompany the familiar romantic plot. No doubt Stothart and Davis (among others) also did their homework in preparing their scores, but they may not have been as concerned as Marianelli with essentially impersonating an 18th century composer. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 1997 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 2001 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

The combination of artist and repertoire represented on this disc seems inevitable in retrospect. Jean-Yves Thibaudet, surely the most coruscating French pianist of his generation, had already proven his worth in numerous recordings of French solo piano music for Decca, and turning to French works for piano and orchestra was only a matter of time. And choosing Charles Dutoit, the most accomplished French conductor of his generation, as his accompanist was likewise inevitable. Having already recorded the orchestral works of Berlioz, Franck, Ravel, Debussy, and Saint-Saëns, he was uniquely qualified to support Thibaudet. Indeed, they get along together like oil and vinegar, joining and separating as best serves to accent the pungent flavors of these savory works. The vivacious tunes of Saint-Saëns' Second Concerto's Presto Finale have rarely sounded so light footed and high spirited, and the antique scales and exotic colors of his "Egyptian" Concerto's Presto Finale have never sounded so evocative and weirdly compelling. Nor has the blazing virtuosity of Franck's Variations symphoniques often been so brilliantly articulated as under Thibaudet's strong but supple hands. Old timers might look back fondly on Rubinstein's aging recordings of the Saint-Saëns, but while contemporary listeners will be impressed by the older performances, they are likely to be blown away by these. Decca's digital sound is crisp, clear, and, as suits the music, vividly colorful. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 14, 1993 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Jean-Yves Thibaudet's 2007 release Aria: Opera without Words is exactly what it says it is: a recital of popular arias arranged for piano. Following in the tradition of Thibaudet's earlier discs of Bill Evans and Duke Ellington arranged for piano, Aria is long on virtuosity and short on sensitivity. As before -- and as in his "straight" classical recordings of Ravel and Debussy -- Thibaudet's virtuosity is breathtaking. Beyond impeccable passagework and immaculate double octaves, Thibaudet's control of the instrument is complete: every phrase, every chord, every note is played exactly as it ought to be played with precisely the right amount of attack, pressure, and release. And as before -- but not as in his "straight" classical recordings -- Thibaudet's sensitivity is negligible. Beyond a lot of rubato and plenty of exaggerated dynamics, Thibaudet's interpretations are full of swaying and swooning and to-ing and fro-ing that altogether amount to not much more than hyperactive sentimentality. Part of the reason for this, of course, is built into the repertoire -- these are opera arias on the program, after all, with not one, not two, but three arrangements of Puccini included -- and part of the reason is written into the arrangements -- although Giovanni Sgambati's arrangement of the "Mélodie" from Orphée et Eurydice is fairly restrained, Yvar Mikhashoff's arrangements, especially his "Casta diva" from Norma, are fairly uninhibited. But most of it is Thibaudet's inclination toward pianistic histrionics, for pulling back from intimacy and rushing headlong into climaxes, that makes his playing resemble a higher-toned Liberace or a less comedic Chico Marx. While certainly enjoyable as exercises in virtuosity taken one or two or even three at a time, listening straight through to a whole disc of what are essentially encores is aurally and aesthetically unadvisable. Decca's digital sound makes Thibaudet's piano sound big and close, but too clattery at climaxes. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Jean-Yves Thibaudet's 2007 release Aria: Opera without Words is exactly what it says it is: a recital of popular arias arranged for piano. Following in the tradition of Thibaudet's earlier discs of Bill Evans and Duke Ellington arranged for piano, Aria is long on virtuosity and short on sensitivity. As before -- and as in his "straight" classical recordings of Ravel and Debussy -- Thibaudet's virtuosity is breathtaking. Beyond impeccable passagework and immaculate double octaves, Thibaudet's control of the instrument is complete: every phrase, every chord, every note is played exactly as it ought to be played with precisely the right amount of attack, pressure, and release. And as before -- but not as in his "straight" classical recordings -- Thibaudet's sensitivity is negligible. Beyond a lot of rubato and plenty of exaggerated dynamics, Thibaudet's interpretations are full of swaying and swooning and to-ing and fro-ing that altogether amount to not much more than hyperactive sentimentality. Part of the reason for this, of course, is built into the repertoire -- these are opera arias on the program, after all, with not one, not two, but three arrangements of Puccini included -- and part of the reason is written into the arrangements -- although Giovanni Sgambati's arrangement of the "Mélodie" from Orphée et Eurydice is fairly restrained, Yvar Mikhashoff's arrangements, especially his "Casta diva" from Norma, are fairly uninhibited. But most of it is Thibaudet's inclination toward pianistic histrionics, for pulling back from intimacy and rushing headlong into climaxes, that makes his playing resemble a higher-toned Liberace or a less comedic Chico Marx. While certainly enjoyable as exercises in virtuosity taken one or two or even three at a time, listening straight through to a whole disc of what are essentially encores is aurally and aesthetically unadvisable. Decca's digital sound makes Thibaudet's piano sound big and close, but too clattery at climaxes. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1996 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1991 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1993 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1998 | Decca Music Group Ltd.