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Brahms & Beethoven

Brahms: Capriccios & Intermezzi Op 76;
Variations Op 21/1 & 21/2
Beethoven: Sonatas Op 2 & 57

Lilya Zilberstein (piano)

K&K Verlagsanstalt KuK 02/03

Lavishly illustrated, as is this firm's way, the presentation of this fine double CD of a recital recorded live in Bad Homburg Castle Church brings it to life in a manner that approaches the best of DVDs.

Zilberstein has triumphed against heavy odds; in the USSR of the '80s she was disadvantaged by the rife unofficial antisemitism, which denied her access to the Moscow Conservatory or permission to take part in the prestigious International Tchaikowsky Competition.

We found her Brahms & Beethoven compelling, indeed enthralling, and the recording by KuK on a perfectly prepared Bechstein is exemplary. Listen to the generous MP3 samples on their website and buy!

We were less enamoured of Franz Vorraber's Schubert (K&K 05); he interrupts the flow with ceasless stop-start point-making in e.g. the Gb min Impromptu.

Mozart, Schubert & Schumann

Rolf Plagge live at Maulbronn Monastery

Mozart - Piano Sonata No. 12 in F Major, K. 332,
Schubert - Piano Sonata No. 16 in A minor &
's Carnaval

KuK 91

Another great piano recital from K&K, Rolf Plagge's easy virtuosity leaves him free to voice the chords at every moment, and there are many moments of sheer magic in all the chosen works. I would mention, for example, his compelling interpretation of one of the most elusive and problematic of Schubert's sonatas, the first movement thoughtfully dramatic, and the slow movement exquisite. And there is nothing routine about his Mozart, nor in a splendid Carnaval.

There are associated videos, but disappointingly these are mostly beautiful montages of still photos [R], with flowers etc, rather than actual filming of Plagge playing in the live concert situation.

A Rolf Plagge DVD would be welcome; pending that, some filmed clips on YouTube??

But meanwhile, this CD is a special one!

Peter Grahame Woolf

We have reviewed many of K&K's series of live concert recordings from Maulbronn Monastery; mainly sacred choral works , all prepared to highest standards, e.g. Handel's Solomon and Jephtha [Editor]