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Richard Whitehouse
The Classical Review, May 2012

…the First Concerto is the more completely successful—Barenboim knitting together its four main sections with no mean resourcefulness and Pierre Boulez…fully engaged with seeing the piece through to a finale…

…this incarnation on DVD and Blu-ray is worth acquiring for the two Wagner pieces in which Boulez’s authority can more be readily be savored: a notably broad account of A Faust Overture that brings out a somber fatalism only briefly allayed by its more consoling elements, and an artfully paced Siegfried Idyll in which the music’s unforced expression and passing whimsy are rendered in affecting terms.

Not the least factor in the success of these performances is the Staatskapelle Berlin, which enjoys an evident (and enviable) rapport with this most inscrutable of conductors as it summons playing of a clarity and a burnished eloquence that places it comfortably within the first league of international orchestras.

…the quality of the concert overall is hardly in doubt. © 2012 The Classical Review Read complete review

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