Times (UK): Five Stars for Complete Beethoven Concertos from Richard Goode, "The Pianist Revered Even by Pianists"
Richard Goode's first-ever recording of the complete Beethoven concertos was released on Nonesuch last week. The Times (UK) gives the set a perfect five stars, describing Goode as "the pianist revered even by pianists," one whose "special gift has always been his selfless artistry: his penetrating intellect, warm heart and nimble fingers are entirely placed at the composers’ service." The review states, "Being Beethoven, Beethoven often makes contrary demands, but Goode knows just how to balance and weigh conflicting elements: argument and repose, dark and light, struggle and wit ... Throughout, the recording is warm and natural. Buy with confidence."
Richard Goode's first-ever recording of the complete Beethoven concertos, with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and conductor Iván Fischer, was released in a three-disc set on Nonesuch Records last week. The Times of London gives the set a perfect five stars. Music critic Geoff Brown describes Goode as "rigorously dedicated" to his craft, "the pianist revered even by pianists."
And while more than a decade and a half has elapsed since Goode's landmark 1993 recording of the complete Beethoven sonatas, the first by an American, there's no need to fret any longer over the expanse of time that separated these major Beethoven recordings from Goode, now that "lost paradise is regained" from the very first note, exclaims Brown.
"Goode’s special gift has always been his selfless artistry: his penetrating intellect, warm heart and nimble fingers are entirely placed at the composers’ service," Brown explains. "Being Beethoven, Beethoven often makes contrary demands, but Goode knows just how to balance and weigh conflicting elements: argument and repose, dark and light, struggle and wit ... When Beethoven is strenuous, Goode never batters; when he smiles, Goode never clips the notes into topiary."
So significant a part of the canon though Beethoven's works have become, the pianist's approach, never hackneyed, rather breathes into them new life. "Every landmark phrase or interjection pops up freshly felt, as though newly composed," says Brown. "And he’s never led into the superficial."
The reviewer is sure to praise Goode's collaborators as well, calling their work on the recordings "exceptional ... their phrasing constantly alert, and their union with Goode total."
Brown concludes: "Throughout, the recording is warm and natural. Buy with confidence."
Read the complete review at entertainment.timesonline.co.uk.
Friday, February 24, 2017Friday, February 24, 2017
Freedom Highway, Rhiannon Giddens' follow-up to her highly praised solo debut album, Tomorrow Is My Turn, is out now. It's a "rich collection," says NPR. "[H]ope comes back to life in Giddens' music." Pitchfork exclaims: "Rhiannon Giddens emerges as a peerless and powerful voice in roots music on her second solo album." The AP calls it "a rich tapestry with threads of blues, folk, gospel, soul, country and jazz ... rootsy and relevant, delivered with crystal-clear emotion and understated musical skill." Uncut names this "remarkably wise and timely new album" its Album of the Month. It earns four stars in American Songwriter, Irish Times ("a record for and of our times"), Observer, and Guardian, which calls it a "powerful and timely set."
Wednesday, December 21, 2016Wednesday, December 21, 2016
As 2016 draws to a close, and the Nonesuch Journal takes a bit of a hiatus till the start of 2017, it's time to take a look back and remember all of the great and diverse music made by Nonesuch artists over the past year. Many Nonesuch artists and their recent Nonesuch releases have made music critics' and fans' year-end best lists. Here, in words and music and in chronological order, is a look back at the year in Nonesuch music.