“A fine SACD!”
“For his first Pentatone recording, the young pianist Martin Helmchen delights us with a small miracle of interpretation that the public no longer expects in an often recorded work. Accompanied by a committed orchestra and conductor, Helmchen offers the freshness of a lively, colorful and impassioned approach. The fluidity of his playing obeys a musical discourse that is both profound and calm. Our attention never wanes, and his pleasure winds up confounding our own. In an ideal stereo and multi-channel recording, this SACD, accompanied by a DVD presenting the pianist, is a welcome surprise”
Opus Haute Definition
“A stunning début from Martin Helmchen that in its own way is even more impressive than Julia Fischer’s was those few years back……The sound is every bit as fitting as the playing and one can have no reservations about the piano as it is recorded here. Indeed it is so good, that one completely fails to think about it during the playing and it is only on reflection that it becomes a consideration.”
“25 year old Berlin native Martin Helmchen makes an impressive debut with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra under Gordan Nikoli? in two brilliant works by Mozart, Piano Concertos No. 24 in C Minor, K491 and No. 13 in C Major, K415. Both show the dramatic as well as the purely lyrical side of the composer, allowing Helmchen ample opportunity to display his firm, beautiful tone, his feeling for rhythm, and his strong sense of the harmonic structures of both works”
Dr Phil Muse
Atlanta Audio Society
“ Helmchen’s technique is light yet authoritative and he brings a level of maturity and panache you’d expect to hear from a much more experienced player. Nikoli and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra provide honest, straightforward accompaniment and do nothing to distract the listener from the music. The engineers provide a rich soundscape which shines in the SACD mix. Included with this package is a DVD that provides additional insight into not only the recording session, but also the post production work as well as an interview with the soloist. This is an exceptionally fine outing which is sure to please. It is most heartily recommended”
“Martin Helmchen’s spirited performance of this essentially amiable work is a joy from beginning to end, while the deft accompaniment from the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra directed by Gordon Nickolic is a model of its kind. The performance is full of felicities, for example the way in which Helmchen makes the most of the contrast between the doleful C minor episodes in the final Rondeau and the movement’s cheerful opening theme.
The pellucid sound quality of the spacious PentaTone recording adds enormously to one’s enjoyment of these performances and this outstanding disc can be warmly recommended without reservation.”
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