Following the collections of symphonies (Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Kletzki, SU 4051-2) and violin sonatas (Suk, Panenka, SU 4077-2), Supraphon is now releasing the complete Beethoven concertante pieces. All of them (including the Triple Concerto and the genre-unique Fantasia for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra) came into being within a mere sixteen years, between 1793 and 1809. Although Beethoven deemed the piano "an imperfect instrument", his five piano concertos form one of the cornerstones of his oeuvre and represent a significant landmark in this genre.
The Beethoven set includes the first two piano concertos (No. 1 in two versions, one with cadenzas supplied by Glenn Gould) together with Beethoven’s only completed opera in its final version: Fidelio. He always had a strong and fervent view of freedom and its resonance still rings true today nearly two hundred years since its first performance.
"Muti's Beethoven Fifth is fleet, fluid, and transparent. He shows his usual attention to details, and offers many individual touches. I especially enjoyed the horn crescendo in bar 34 of the Allegro con brio. It's not indicated in my ancient Eulenberg score but makes perfect sense in its context. …Muti achieves a clarity and rhythmic definition found only in the finest interpretations…The playing of the Philadelphia Orchestra is nothing short of spectacular. The fast string triplets from measure 132 in the final movement are not only accurate but beautifully played with full tone.
This particular recording has been a favourite of mine since its initial release nearly 30 years ago. Stephen Kovacevich (or Bishop-Kovacevich. if you prefer) appeals as 1 of those pianists whose playing is rather forthright & precise, giving us here a rather lyrical presentation of the concerti full of grace & good demeanor. A little on the light side compared to those who pound out their Beethovens some would think.
Sony Classical in cooperation with Paramax Films and Dolby releases the world premiere of the first classical concert on video mixed in the new sound technology of Dolby Atmos®. Captured by Paramax Films in the orchestra’s home city of Tel Aviv in July 2015, Khatia Buniatishvili and Zubin Mehta unite in a concert with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra at its resident venue of Charles Bronfman Auditorium. Available on DVD and Blu-ray, last-named with Dolby Atmos technology, the legendary conductor and the 2016 ECHO Klassik Award winning pianist showcase a performance of the piano’s most famous orchestral repertoire; Beethoven’s infectious and virtuosic Piano Concerto No. 1. and Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with its waves of sound and grandiose third movement. Last concerto proven to be “a superb showpiece for Buniatishvili, whose technical prowess, theatrical manner and innate glamour mark her out as a natural Liszt interpreter” writes the Guardian.