Sunday, June 19, 2011
Bach/Busoni,Liszt,Bartok Piano Concertos by Lipatti
Appearing for the first time under EMI's "official" auspices, these live Dinu Lipatti concerto broadcasts add three major works to the short-lived pianist's recorded repertoire. Some collectors undoubtedly know this material from at least three independent label releases. I reviewed two of these discs for Classicstoday.com, and my comments on the performances themselves still stand (type Q196 and Q694 in Search Reviews). Consumers, however, will want to know how EMI's transfers compare to what's been out before. In the case of the Bach-Busoni D minor Concerto, EMI wins, hands down. The ambience is less reverberant, the strings have more bite and definition, and the piano is less muffled. While EMI offers a clean equalization of the Liszt Concerto, the original Archiphon release, though noisier, has a little more bass. Not that it really matters, given the original aircheck's sonic grunge. In the Bartok Third, however, EMI retains more surface noise from the original lacquers than transfers on Urania and Tahra do, but the sound is brighter on top. This magnifies the orchestra's drawbacks yet makes Lipatti's eloquent pianism sound all the more colorful and incisive. A must for fans of historic piano recordings and Lipatti admirers alike.