The piano remained the main instrument of Beethoven throughout his life, and this specially priced 4-CD box set represents his entire and sizeable output for piano and orchestra, starting with the early Piano Concerto in E flat, WoO 4 – a work of tremendous energy and great technical demands, which Beethoven wrote when he was just twelve years old – and ending with Piano Concerto No. 5, the only one that Beethoven never performed himself in concert, due to his developing deafness.
Dumay and Pires have made some outstanding recordings.. and this new set of Beethoven's complete works in the same genre.. belongs among the very best available.
Make no mistake, this is chamber music playing of the first order, and a major contribution to the Beethoven discography–a set to be savored and enjoyed many times over
"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.
Covering the breadth of Beethoven’s complete output, this updated 86-CD box set is a staggering collection featuring performers including Alfred Brendel, Sir Colin Davis, David Zinman, Herbert Blomstedt, Staatskapelle Dresden and the London Symphony Orchestra.
Featured works include: Symphonies, Piano Concertos, Violin Concerto & Romances, Overtures and other orchestral works, Fidelio, Leonore, Septet, Sextet, String Quintets, String Quartets, String Trios, Violin Sonatas, Cello Sonatas, Chamber music for flute, Music for winds and brass, Piano Quintet, Clarinet Trio, Piano Sonatas & Variations, Songs, Masses.
Beethoven was the last great composer to write string trios, and his are the finest works of their type. Mozart hardly touched this particular combination, and Haydn wrote quite few very early works which are now completely unknown. In any case, Haydn used two violins and a cello, whereas with Beethoven the standard combination became violin, viola, and cello. These are all early works, expert examples of all that Beethoven learned from Haydn and Mozart in preparation for the writing of his first great string quartets. But far from being mere composition exercises, these are highly rewarding works on their own, and these outstanding performances make the best possible case for their claim to be ranked among Beethoven's chamber music masterpieces.
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.
Maurizio Pollini’s Beethoven Sonatas cycle has reached completion after nearly 40 years. We celebrate this major event with a handsome 8-CD capbox that provides a fitting testimonial to a great artistic partnership between pianist and record label. The final recordings in the cycle (opp. 31 & 49) are being released simultaneously as a single CD.