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Beethoven : Concerto pour piano n° 3. Chédrine : Suite Carmen. Pletnev, Takacs-Nagy.
Diapason from February 2022
Review de Patrick Szersnovicz
Page No. 68
Format : 2 CD
Total Time : 01:26:28

Recording : 02/03/2021
Location : Genève
Country : Suisse
Sound : Live / Stereo

Label : Claves
Catalog No. : CLA3039/40
EAN : 7619931303925
Price Code : DM029A

Publishing Year : 2022
Release Date : 02/02/2022

Genre : Classical
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Ouverture "Le Roi Étienne", op. 117
Concerto pour piano n° 3 en do mineur, op. 37

Rodion Chédrine (1932-)
Suite Carmen, ballet en 1 acte

Mikhail Pletnev, piano
L'Orchestre de Chambre de Genève
Gabor Takacs-Nagy, direction

La pochette du disque est trompeuse : on ne voit que le nom du célèbre pianiste et chef d’orchestre russe Mikhail Pletnev. Un récital inédit ? Le label suisse Claves propose en réalité, en 2 CD au faible minutage, l’écho d’un concert donné le 2 mars 2021 au Victoria Hall de Genève par l’orchestre de chambre de Genève dirigé par Gabor Takacs-Nagy. Un programme en deux parties, Beethoven et l’ouverture du Roi Etienne et le 3ème concerto pour piano – dont le soliste était bien Pletnev – puis la suite que le compositeur soviétique Rodion Chédrine (né en 1932) a composée pour grand orchestre à cordes et percussions à partir de Carmen de Bizet. A l’écoute de l’album, on s’interroge sur la nécessité de publier ce concert, bien médiocre à tous égards. Un orchestre émacié, poussif dans Beethoven, un effectif tout à fait insuffisant pour Chédrine. Quant à Mikhail Pletnev, on l’a connu en meilleure forme, notamment dans son enregistrement, pour le moins original, des cinq concertos de Beethoven (Deutsche Grammophon). (Jean-Pierre Rousseau)

It should have been just another memorable con¬cert in the hectic life of the Geneva Chamber Orchestra. However, the global Covid-19 pandemic decided otherwise and turned this summit meeting with conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy and pianist Mikhaïl Pletnev into a historical moment. Chronicle of an extraordinary adventure...in every respect. Tuesday, 2 March 2021 was a date written in the orchestra’s calendar, just like the dates of the season’s many other concerts. The difference is that since March 2020 and the first general lockdown of the music planet (along with a good part of all other activities), it has become customary to look ahead with extreme wariness in the daily expecta¬tion of having to respond to some new slowdown measure. While concerts timidly resumed at the beginning of the previous autumn, the hammer that everybody had been dreading fell on 3 No¬vember at 3pm: the Geneva State Council decided that everything should close again ! Everything? The question arose immediately, and we already started thinking about saving what could still be saved. If rehearsals with professional ensembles following a strict sanitary protocol were still al¬lowed behind closed doors, could a concert per¬formed without an audience be assimilated to a rehearsal, legally speaking? The orchestra’s man¬agement breathed a sigh of relief when learning that this was the case...so the world hadn’t com¬pletely stopped turning ! The 20-21 season contin¬ued according to plan in the same splendid Victoria Hall but in front of empty chairs...and cameras. A dazzling golden age of video streaming had begun. “A strange experience for the musicians,” according to Frédéric Steinbrüchel, the orchestra’s General Manager. “You give all you can, and nobody is there to receive it”. Weeks and months went by: the winter was critical in terms of health. Although a first timid allowance of 50 spectators per performance was announced for spring 2021, the date of 2 March still seemed as it would be without an audience. Since the or¬chestra had no intention of missing out on such a bill, it did its best to find another way of promoting the event. The Claves record label was approached and was won over by the idea of making a live re¬cording of the concert. For Frédéric Steinbrüchel, who is always keen to accompany the audience in its musical experience, the challenge did not stop there: “To offer the audience something emo¬tional and lively, and also to keep a trace of these extraordinary circumstances, I contacted the Span¬ish documentalist Alexis Delgado, who agreed at very short notice to come to Geneva with his team. Such an emergency situation enables things that would normally not be possible or more difficult to organise. When he arrived, the film producer ex¬plained that his work would be greatly facilitated if he could relate it to some “dramatic” underlying theme. He couldn’t have put it better: the morning of the concert, just as the filmed dress rehearsal was about to start, the sky fell down on the orches¬tra’s management team.

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