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  Channel Classics -
  CCS SA 19703
  Haydn: Piano Sonatas, Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2 - Dejan Lazic
  Haydn: Piano Sonata in C major Hob:XVI:50, Piano Sonata in E flat major Hob:XVI:52, Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major (cadenza Lazic)

Dejan Lazic (piano)
Klassische Philharmonie Bonn
Heribert Beissel (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 3

Reviews: 2

Review by Julien December 14, 2007 (9 of 13 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Folks, I really don't have time for the bad ones. I always feel that I should write a couple of bad reviews once in a while just to add a little credibility... But I can't help it, these days I put the bad ones in "not recommended" and just jump on my computer when a disc is so good I have to write a review.

And Dejan Lazic just made me jump. This kid (well, two years older than me) plays Haydn and Beethoven with pure genius. For a long time now, I've been amazed at how few of the best individual artists are on SACD, and especially with the best recording companies. Many first class artists, like Julia Fischer, are gifted and accomplished performers, musicians, but not geniuses.
Then there are those who can give you that magic, that enchantment, what I call genius. Those who can make you hold your breath for a whole concert. Richter was one of them, or Keith Jarrett also, not too many of them. Good news, Channel Classics has two. The first is Ivan Fischer. His vision and interpretation of the Mahler 2 is as out of this world as the piece itself, to the point that I catch myself forgetting to breathe everytime I listen to it.
The second is Dejan Lazic. I've never heard anyone talk about him, never heard him in concert, and never read anything about him. Is he mediatised at all these days? I don't know. All I know is that he has that combination that so many famous performers don't have: absolute genius, AND perfect technique allowing him to express the slightest things he feels (and this is so much harder for someone like Lazic who feels the music so deeply that the amount of interpretative slight subtleties is phenomenal), AND incredibly good taste and coherence to his speech (which also is not easy given the finesse of his musicianship, that with most people turn to bad taste easily), AND addictive sense of rhythm and phrasing. AND...
He's the whole package. And what a sound! Well served by Jared Sacks at his best, the colours Lazic gets from his piano could make a rainbow pale. Finesse, ladies and gentlemen.

The recording? Live for the Beethoven, and everything you would expect from the best of the best: spaciousness and richness of the best full DSD recordings, accurate soundstaging... You're in the hall. Best seat in the house.
On the Beethoven, I'd give even six stars for the piano performance and the recording. The orchestra is good by the way, the winds rather in tune for a concert, though better phrasing would not hurt. They are doing an excellent accompanying job, but on pure musicality I'd stick to 4 stars for the orchestra. Especially in the slow movement the strings often play all the notes the same and with the same vibrato. But above all, Lazic was so good that I couldn't keep my ears (and eyes?) off the piano.

Can I imagine better? I'd say give him twenty years and he'll be able to make Time hang out there sometimes. Like Richter did. You know, when those few seconds made you feel that divine eternity. But right now? Dejan Lazic is already deeper than almost everyone else.

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Review by beardawgs November 14, 2003 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Even after reading short and rather general notes provided by Dejan Lazic himself, Iím not entirely convinced that coupling Beethovenís piano concerto and Haydnís sonatas is a terribly exciting thing. True, early Beethoven goes well with late Haydn, but having one composerís solo piano works alongside orchestral music of the other looks like cost effective filling in. Having said that, Lazicís pianism is first class, and it is a real joy to listen to this disc over and over again, although I prefer to listen either to Haydn or Beethoven at one go.
I havenít heard anything else by this young Croatian composer/pianist/clarinettist. His piano playing is highly accomplished, very virtuosic and his command of piano tone and colours are nothing less than impressive. Especially so in Beethoven second piano concerto (actually written first, but published second). Not my favourite Beethoven concerto I have to add, it sounds more like Mozart without the usual wit, but Lazic in his reading gives it all the spark and brilliance with some moments of true inspiration and sheer rough force, but always under control. His cadenzas are worth the money of the disc, as he gives us the view through the window of whatís to come in later Beethoven.
Same perfect control of dynamics and tone are evident in Haydn piano sonatas, and he is using all available resources of grand Steinway D piano. There is more subtlety in Beethoven than here, but he is still able to produce a really impressive piano, and the musical momentum is always there. Although his tempos are slightly on the fast side, Lazic never rushes through his music, but is always looking forward, and his playing is all but boring. I have to say that his performances sounds more cerebral than spontaneously inspired, but that really doesnít matter as it is obvious with every note that he has done his homework pretty well and knows his music backwards. His much celebrated countryman Pogorelich did the same thing, but his Haydn sonatas sounded more convincing as classical-era piano pieces.
Iím not terribly impressed by Channel Classics surround recordings in general and this one is the best one Iíve heard from them. My main complaint here is to closely recorded piano, it sounds a bit in your face, where Lazicís wide dynamic range doesnít help. I had impression that Iím put in the piano itself, which kind of works in Haydn, but not in Beethoven. Orchestral sound and balance in Beethoven are perfect, open and spacious and I presume that they had to mix the piano in at quite low levels to fit it in the complete sound picture. Overall, the general sound image is natural with few audible piano dumpersí Ďbumpsí in the first movement and that made me think that microphones were deep inside.
I would easily give this disc 5 stars all around, but this recording is not impressive as Kaplan on DG or Harnoncourt on RCA/BMG.

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Works: 3  

Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat, Op. 19
Joseph Haydn - Piano Sonata No. 50 in C major, Hob. XVI:50
Joseph Haydn - Piano Sonata No. 52 in E flat major, Hob. XVI:52