Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3
Phillip Kawin's performances are always deeply considered... his reading of the Beethoven C minor concerto combines a strong grasp of structure with intense concentration on detail, as did his previously issued Appassionata. Filmed in Moscow's Rachmaninov Concert Hall without an audience, the camera angels selected by director Paul Carasco (himself a pianist) are pertinent and imaginative. Against a calm blue background, orchestra and soloist deliver an interpretation of maturity and grandeur... The RNO, with antiphonal violins, is highly disciplined and there is clear rapport between KAwin and Schwarz. The finale is most impressive of all, glittering yet with enough space for lyricism. The Blu-ray format offers enhanced visual clarity.
Most pianists are at their most thrilling while involved in a grand crescendo. But Kawin grips your heart with his subito piano. He goes from the most turbulent emotions to heartbreaking caresses in a way that I’ve only heard from one other artist: Vladimir Ashkenazy. But with Kawin, you feel the power that lurks below. It’s like comparing Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.
Well, Ashkenazy has many entries in the catalog, including all the mature piano concertos of Mozart, which I’ve never gotten over—pure gold. Now we need the other four Beethoven concertos from Kawin and ideally, much more. He is accompanied here by Gerard Schwarz, one of the most underrated conductors of the century... here, he draws a superb performance from the Russian National Orchestra. Kawin and Schwarz—together they’re dynamite. Buy it.