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Balsam, Artur / Concerto Album
Album:Concerto Album Collection:Classical
Artist:Balsam, Artur Added:09/2006
Label:Bridge Records 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2007-03-11 Pull Date:2007-05-13 Charts:Classical/Experimental
Week Ending:1 Apr18 Mar
Airplays:12

Recent Airplay
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3.Tue, 13 Mar 07:La Chanteuse
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2.Sat, 17 Mar 07:mufaor
Cognitive Overload

Album Review
mufaor
Reviewed 2007-03-12 
Classical piano concerti - super solid orchestra, highest level of piano playing, technically, very formally oriented I think but definitely not lacking passion - several tracks completely sweep me away. Old recordings, I’m not sure from when, but slightly scratchy, doesn’t get in the way of the music. Great Mozart – light, beautifully sensitive articulation, comparable to Mitsuko Uchida. I love the tempi chosen for all these pieces – the slow movements are nice and laidback and absolutely rock steady, not much if any rubato. Fav: 1/6, 2/6, 2/7.

Disc 1:
1. Upbeat, light.
2. Slow, laidback, almost wonderfully lazy. The minor parts are achingly beautiful.
3. Very light, lots of trills, a rondo in 3/4 time.
4. Typical Beethoven, repetitive and a little bombastic, “base” in a great way. Dramatic, many changes in mood and figures.
5. Very slow, lots of ornamentation, great use of space/silence. Pretty romantic.
*6. Uber famous, recognizable tune. Kind of a hunting tune, extremely catchy and pretty. Fucking great ornamentation by Balsam. Playful orchestra. Joyous.

Disc 2:
1. Recording is slightly fuzzier on this piece. First movement opens somewhat chaotically over a nice drone in the low strings. Then exuberant showy piano, pretty trills and turns, amazing articulation. *Very* classical, like balanced phrases and neat and pretty cadences, it just all fits and hits the spot.
2. Slow movement, very dance-like, almost sober or somber even though it’s in a major key. Great tempo.
3. Quick and bouncy, nice chords, full. Nice minor section, beautifully light and delicate in articulation but not in mood/feeling.
4. Dark and catchy tune, mid-paced. The heaviest playing from Balsam is on this piece. And it’s the most romantic piece. Damn I love Balsam’s early 20th century almost formalist style of playing – just the right touch of pull-on-the-heartstrings here.
5. Slow, lush, simple but not. Lesser-known composer, nice to hear less predictable harmonic changes.
*6. Dark and spritely, like a minor waltz almost. Nice cross-rhythms – 4/4 time but syncopated somehow. Would be nice next to Brahms. Amazing orchestra playing, each part very clear and separate. The piano playing takes me away, easy to get lost in it (good thing).
*7. Harpsichord in the orchestra! C.P.E. Bach – classical but with baroque intensity and driving rhythm, diverse track. Repeat repeat repeat. Gorgeous. I’m surprised how heavy Balsam plays here, would like to hear other pianists play this composer.
8. Slow stately movement, lots of bass. Sounds close to Mozart though steadier. You know, I like how the recording quality modifies the harmonies slightly – there’s a little warble or slightly out of tune / distorted sound that’s beautiful.
9. Fast, intense, driving, like dark Vivaldi. Cute ornamentation/flourishes, balance the intensity well, interesting. Catchy. Some passages sound just like scale exercises.

Track Listing
1.Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 8 In C Major, K. 246, Mvt. 1 8.Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 13 In C Major, K. 415, Mvt. 2
2.Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 8 In C Major, K. 246, Mvt. 2 9.Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 13 In C Major, K. 415, Mvt. 3
3.Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 8 In C Major, K. 246, Mvt. 3 10.Hummel - Piano Concerto In A Minor, Op. 85, Mvt. 1
4.Beethoven - Piano Concerto In D Major, Op. 61, Mvt. 1 11.Hummel - Piano Concerto In A Minor, Op. 85, Mvt. 2
5.Beethoven - Piano Concerto In D Major, Op. 61, Mvt. 2 12.Hummel - Piano Concerto In A Minor, Op. 85, Mvt. 3
6.Beethoven - Piano Concerto In D Major, Op. 61, Mvt. 3 13.C.P.E. Bach - Piano Concerto In D Minor, H. 427 [Wq23], Mvt. 1
7.Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 13 in C major, K. 415, Mvt. 1 14.C.P.E. Bach - Piano Concerto In D Minor, H. 427 [Wq23], Mvt. 2
 15.C.P.E. Bach - Piano Concerto In D Minor, H. 427 [Wq23], Mvt. 3