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Beethoven - The Piano Concertos (Ashkenazy)

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Beethoven – Piano Concertos (Askenazy)

CD 1

01. Piano Concerto No. 1 In C major [op. 15] I. Allegro con brio (15:07)
02. Piano Concerto No. 1 In C major [op. 15] II. Largo (12:09)
03. Piano Concerto No. 1 In C major [op. 15] III. Rondo - Allegro (9:12)

04. Six Bagatelles [op. 126] I. Andante con moto, cantabile e compiacevole (3:21)
05. Six Bagatelles [op. 126] II. Allegro (2:35)
06. Six Bagatelles [op. 126] III. Andante cantabile e grazioso (2:40)
07. Six Bagatelles [op. 126] IV. Presto (3:54)
08. Six Bagatelles [op. 126] V. Quasi allegretto (2:20)
09. Six Bagatelles [op. 126] VI. Presto - Andante amabile e con moto (4:07)
10. Für Elise (3:03)

Total Time: 58'32''

CD 2

01. Piano Concerto No.3 - Allegro con brio (16:25)
02. Piano Concerto No.3 - Largo (10:40)
03. Piano Concerto No.3 - Rondo: Allegro (9:15)

04. Piano Concerto No.4 - Allegro moderato (19:06)
05. Piano Concerto No.4 - Andante con moto (6:13)
06. Piano Concerto No.4 - Rondo: Vivace (9:23)

Total Time: 71'05''

CD 3

01. Piano Concerto No. 5 Op. 73 (Allegro) (20:42)
02. Piano Concerto No. 5 Op. 73 (Adagio un poco mosso) (8:21)
03. Piano Concerto No. 5 Op. 73 (Rondo Allegro) (11:10)

04. Piano Concerto No. 2 Op. 19 (Allegro con brio) (13:18)
05. Piano Concerto No. 2 Op. 19 (Adagio) (9:49)
06. Piano Concerto No. 2 Op. 19 (Rondo Molto allegro) (6:16)

Vladimir Ashkenazy – piano
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Sir Georg Solti – conductor


Each of these performances has its own profile. The orchestra plays incisively in the First Concerto, but Ashkenazy's plush lyricism doesn't make a good match either with the orchestra or with the music, and he makes one weird ritard in the first movement. The Second Concerto is uneventful, rather bland and pleasant. The Third Concerto seems to be the best performance of the lot, with dramatic playing by soloist and orchestra, but it's sabotaged by blurry recorded sound, the only serious problem with sound quality in the entire set. The Fourth Concerto is enlivened, at least intellectually, by Solti's approach, constantly revealing interesting unfamiliar details in the orchestral score. Ashkenazy's detachment makes this a frosty but fascinating experience. The "Emperor" is a good routine performance, nothing special. The Bagatelles aren't much of a bonus, since they're rather dully played. (Why not the "Choral" Fantasy?) There's nothing actively bad about this set, and it's reasonably priced. But Beethoven deserves better, and gets it from many performers, including the fascinating Uchida-Sanderling collaborations. ---Leslie Gerber, Editorial Reviews


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Last Updated (Tuesday, 20 August 2013 21:01)


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