CONCERTO #1 IN C MAJOR, Op.15 (15:51+12:07+10:58)
This concerto is actually Beethoven's second work in the form, but published ahead of the second-numbered, youthful concerto in B Flat, OP. 19. In it, the fully mature Beethoven makes his statement - and a profound one - to the musical world: pay attention! The booklet notes make no reference to the cadenzas Barenboim plays, which is a pity, as the one he employs in the first movement is stunning, and one with which I am not familiar. As in all of the slow movements in the concertos, it reminds one of musicologist Alfred Einstein's reference to 'Mozart's heavenly Adagios'; Barenboim's treatment of Beethoven's slow concerto movements is 'profoundly humanist' heartfelt and reverential, revealing new insights at every turn.
CONCERTO #2 IN B FLAT MAJOR, OP.19 (14:49+9:36+8:58)
When young Beethoven arrived in Vienna, he sought instruction from Mozart. Somehow this did not come about, and young Ludwig ended up a student of Haydn - hardly a poor substitute! Yet Mozart did take note of him, saying something to the effect that 'the world will be hearing more from this young man'. Indeed, Mozart's shadow looms large over Op.19, yet in the Adagio, there is a breadth and depth to Barenboim's rendition that one does not encounter in the many other versions available. Moreover, his minute attention to every note in each little ornament is a joy!
CONCERTO #3 IN C MINOR, OP.37 (18:07+9:59+10:01)
Barenboim's fleet-fingered virtuosity comes to the fore in this light-hearted concerto. It's plain to see what joy he has in tossing off all those roulades, arpeggios and bravura passages. Coming back once more to Alfred Einstein, I think it was he who postulated the theory that Beethoven was the first composer to make use of the trill as a dramatic device. If this is indeed the case - and who's to doubt the word of such an authority? - then this concerto especially supports it, and evidence of the trill as a dramatic device abounds in all Beethoven's other mature piano works. Again in the Largo, the cotrasting sweep and dignity Barenboim imparts to the movement elevates it to a higher sphere.
CONCERTO #4 IN G MAJOR, OP.58 (19:41+5:16+12:48)
This is my favourite among the concertos. Here, Beethoven leaps a century ahead by allowing the piano - ever so softly - to announce the first movement's main theme, employing another favourite device: three short notes and a longer one. Throughout this highly introspective work - but especially in the middle movement, Andante con moto - Barenboim evokes an unprecedented grandeur and nobility in the music, lifting it to heavenly heights. Following the thunderous final tutti, Barenboim is rewarded with a well-deserved and long standing ovation - a rare occasion for the usually staid German audience. This he shares first with section leaders and soloists, then the entire orchestra. It has now become my favourite version of my favourite Beethoven concerto.
CONCERTO #5 IN E FLAT MAJOR, OP.73 ('EMPEROR')(21:09+8:09+12:04)
There is something so grand about this concerto: the massive opening tutti, the angular, sharp attacks and brisk tempo set by the soloist-conductor, combine in a regal musical spectacular.
Here, Barenboim allows himself more latitude in dynamics and rubato, his pianissimi, even when barely audible, always pellucidly clear, dramatically in contrast to thundering chords where called for. In this work especially, Barenboim has his hands full, no pun intended. The hard physical work even made the unflappable Barenboim break a sweat. The standing ovation this time, marking the end of the cycle, seemed like it would never end.
There are other concerted piano works by Beethoven - early creations that do not measure up to for example the B Flat Concerto, Op.19. The Choral Fantasia, Op.80, for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra is actually a run-up for the Ninth Symphony, and cannot be considered a concerto as such. Beethoven's adaptation of his Violin Concerto is sometimes referred to as the sixth concerto. It is a lovely work, and would have been nice to have in this collection. But that is really being greedy.
|Produto sob encomenda||Não|
|Marca||Music Brokers Brasil Produções Fonográficas|
|Duração Aproximada||Aprox. 198 Min.|
|Classificação Indicativa||Livre para todos os públicos|
|Sistema de Som||Dolby Digital 2.0|