Garnet Ungar plays Brahms -
reviewed by JOHN BELL YOUNG
'... a performance that is at once radiant, powerful and precise.'
In the forty years that have flown by since Sviatoslav Richter made his
newsworthy début at Carnegie Hall in the Brahms B flat concerto,
there have been few recordings, save his own with Erich Leinsdorf at the
helm of the Chicago Symphony, that have matched that stellar performance.
Geza Anda, Alfred Brendel and Friedrich Wuhrer each churned out exemplary
readings, which moved rapidly to the top of any collector's must-have
list. But even these, as superb as they are, have never quite equaled the
breathtaking, even visceral intensity and ardent machismo that Richter brought
to the work. No one has. That is, until now [listen].
In this privately issued recording of a live performance, underwritten
by the University of Evansville in Indiana, USA, Garnet Ungar, a 20-something
pianist virtually unknown in the commercial musical mainstream, delivers
a performance that is at once radiant, powerful and precise. That this remarkable
disc, which does not even have the benefit of an independent label, would
have ended up on my doorstep, without so much as a press release or a word
of explanation, is even more astonishing, Indeed, those unfamiliar with
the methodologies of the fourth estate might be surprised to learn that
most publications will not print reviews of recordings that do not sport
the benefit of a bona fide label.
Copyright © 8 December 2001
John Bell Young, Tampa, Florida, USA
CD INFORMATION - UNGAR CD1
PURCHASE FROM EVANSVILLE UNIVERSITY
SHORTLY TO BE AVAILABLE FROM AMERICUS RECORDS
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