Angela Hewitt, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin/Lintu (Hyperion)
The most striking thing about this recording on first encounter is not the elegant, fluent playing of Angela Hewitt (that's a given in all her performances) but the tempo of the closing allegro vivace of the Piano Concerto. Normally it's a helter-skelter race to the finish, but here Hewitt and Hannu Lintu choose a surprisingly stately pace, reflecting Schumann's actual metronome marking and bringing out the movement's swinging, waltz-like character. It's an example of Hewitt's meticulous attention to detail that is always so evident, whether she's playing Bach or Messiaen. Her perfect handling of the breathtakingly lovely opening of the Introduction and Allegro appassionato would melt the hardest of hearts.
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