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Beethoven: Piano Concertos, No. 1 & 3

Ludwig van Beethoven , Leif Ove Andsnes , Mahler Chamber Orchestra Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Price: $13.94 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Performer: Leif Ove Andsnes
  • Orchestra: Mahler Chamber Orchestra
  • Conductor: Leif Ove Andsnes
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (September 11, 2012)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B0085MK2FS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,046 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 in C major op. 15; I. Allegro con brio
2. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 in C major op. 15; II. Largo
3. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 in C major op. 15; III. Rondo. Allegro
4. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 3 in C minor op. 37; I. Allegro con brio
5. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 3 in C minor op. 37; II. Largo
6. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 3 in C minor op. 37; III. Rondo. Allegro

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It's been two years now since Leif Ove Andsnes' last CD came out. Formerly contracted with EMI, he's switched over to Sony Classical. This CD is a taste of things to come, as it's not only his first disc with his new label, but it's the first of his Beethoven concerti cycle with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Andsnes is a pianist I saw live twice and have followed with enthusiasm. He's starting his cycle out with the 1st and 3rd concerti. Sony is making the effort seem adventurous by entitling it "The Beethoven Journey".

Oh, and I forgot to mention the conductor, which is Andsnes himself. This isn't his first endeavor of the sort, having put out three CDs of Mozart and Haydn with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. This shouldn't be news, but the Mahler Chamber Orchestra is a few rungs higher on the ladder than its Scandinavian rival. It doesn't take long until this is evident; Andsnes couldn't ask for more sophisticated chamber partners.

But the very fact that Andsnes is choosing a chamber orchestra instead of a regular orchestra and conductor proves that he wants intimacy. This isn't an authentic performance by any means, though. Andsnes has a firm technique that he showcases with authority and his accompanists are full and commanding. It's a very classicist affair; no romantic excesses, please. What, then, is the vision that leads our Beethoven journey?

Simply put, Andsnes wants to present the concertos in their glory without letting himself get in the way, to use a clichéd line of the purists. He favors reticence over flamboyancy, lyricism over excitement. Sensitive sounds abound with the utmost clarity. Sony's sound is what we expect in 2012 and they pick up subtleties everywhere.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed November 7, 2012
By binke
Format:Audio CD
It pains me to write this. I was at the Andsnes Beethoven 3rd concert at Disney Hall. One of the great experiences in music. It was transcendent. So Of course I bought the CD and had it signed too. Then I played it. I was desperately disappointed. The engineering and sound level between the piano and orchestra is unacceptable. The Piano is too soft and the orchestra way too loud. It's a good thing it wasn't a full orchestra. A friend also bought it and she had the same experience. When another friend listened to it at the Disney Hall store via their preview system, she had the same response.

When i read the Andsnes directed from the piano, I wondered if he ever heard the finished product. It is a mystery. I do plan to write to the producers of the CD and ask them about it.

So my advise to you is to listen, if you can before you buy it. And be prepared.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Andsnes joins a few other prominent pianists, such s Piotr Anderszewski and Jonathan Biss, in adapting his mainstream keyboard style to period influences, rather the way that Simon Rattle and Claudio Abbado adapted their conducting of the symphonies (in Biss's case, the composer was Mozart). The result is a kind of mix-and-match, arriving at their own blend and flavor. Andsnes applies reduced forces, light accents, and the absence of vibrato in the strings, but the winds seem (to my ears) to be using vibrato. He doesn't go as far into pseudo-Baroque style as some, however, which is a relief. This isn't thump-diddle-diddle Beethoven, and although his pedaling is minimal, he doesn't detach the phrasing so much that he's trying to imitate a pianoforte.

So much for the set up. The two concertos are interpreted with Andnes's high level of musicality, and in the slow movements, which are taken at traditional tempos, only the buzzy strings indicate that we are hearing anything untraditional. There the phrasing is especially lovely, and the Mahler Chamber Orch. is adept enough that they play as well as if a separate conductor was on hand. In the tuttis, when Andsnes has is hands free to conduct, he does a good job. One thing he doesn't choose form the HIP grab bag is fast tempi. For example, the Largo of Cto. no 3 times out at 9:50, a minute faster than Pletnev on DG and a minute slower than Serkin with Bernstein on Sony.

In all, an accomplished recording, which I can see winning five stars from other reviewers. My reason for being a bit less enthusiastic is that Andsnes, whether as soloist or conductor, is fairly bland and straightforward. The period trappings give us a somewhat new sound, but Beethoven without true fortes and fortissimos, shaped like Mozart for the most part, and lacking in urgency falls short of the mark for me.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Showy, but subtle September 25, 2012
Format:Audio CD
Leif Ove Andsnes & The Mahler Chamber Orchestra
"The Beethoven Journey: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3"
(Sony Classical, 2012)
This is the first of several projected Beethoven recordings by Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, who is not only soloist but also conductor on these beautifully mastered recordings. This is the first time Andsnes has recorded Beethoven, and his plan is to record all five Piano Concerti, as well as the "Choral Fantasy," all of which he sees as a complete song cycle.

Andsnes particularly champions the First concerto, a brisk work filled with flashy, dynamic piano passages which critics in the past have labeled as one of Beethoven's lesser works. In a broad sense that may be true -- the contrast here between the galloping First and the rich, romantic Third is plain, but Andsnes insists that both are mature, well-thought out works. He invests himself equally in both performances, playing with resonance and depth, buoyed by strong, multi-textured accompaniment from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. One quality that leaps out is the gorgeous modern recording mix, which has clarity, depth and a pleasingly soft tone that takes the edge off some of the more forceful barrages while adding shading to the more romantic passages. This is a fine record for both passive and active listening, and will reward audiences for many years to come. (DJ Joe Sixpack, Slipcue music reviews)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars fine first, outstanding third
When you're listening to a recording of a piece of music by composer X and you think, "This is the greatest piece of music that X composed," then you know that something... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Stanley Crowe
5.0 out of 5 stars see the comments for Rachmaninoff
I heard the Beethoven before the Rachmaninoff and that is why I tried to find the CD but know one seemed to know where to get it,
so I was very happy when I found it on... Read more
Published 16 months ago by janetta wallbank
5.0 out of 5 stars Longevity Has Its Rewards!
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Published 17 months ago by Giordano Bruno
3.0 out of 5 stars Beethoven Concertos with Leif Ove Andsnes
I removed this item from my Wish List because I own a different recording of the same concertos. I heard a performance of one of these concertos on the radio and liked it very... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Anonymous
5.0 out of 5 stars Beethoven Concertos in a Revelatory Interpretation
Leif Ove Andsnes gives us Beethoven as quasi-chamber music. These performances are models of clarity, poise and delight. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Carl H. Fowler
5.0 out of 5 stars Andses Tackles Beethoven with a touchdown!
Leif Ove Andsnes has avoided Beethoven until now, when he's in his early 40's. This is the first disc in a "Beethoven journey" he hopes to do in the next few years, and it... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Bruce A. Mcdonald
4.0 out of 5 stars Beethoven at Andsnes
I bought one for myself and one for a gift. I read a review of this CD in my local newspaper and was impressed so I went straight to to order it.
Published 21 months ago by Paula R. Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Beethoven Concerti 1 and 3
This CD is a must for any lover of classical music. While there are many recordings of Beethoven's music,
this one by Lief Ove Andsnes is especially fine.
Published 22 months ago by Marilyn M. Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars A great performance
In an era of "over-sound" it is a relief to listen to a pure, crisp performance of Leif Ove Andsnes. Read more
Published 22 months ago by J. Olson
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Published 23 months ago by Grady Harp
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