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Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3, Opp. 19, 37

L.V. Beethoven Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Price: $13.22 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor, Op.37 - 1. Allegro con brio - Cadenza: Beethoven16:11Album Only
listen  2. Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor, Op.37 - 2. Largo10:21Album Only
listen  3. Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor, Op.37 - 3. Rondo (Allegro) 9:10Album Only
listen  4. Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat major, Op.19 - 1. Allegro con brio - Cadenza: Beethoven13:18Album Only
listen  5. Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat major, Op.19 - 2. Adagio 8:49Album Only
listen  6. Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat major, Op.19 - 3. Rondo (Molto allegro) 6:02$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3, Opp. 19, 37 + Beethoven: Cello Sonatas Nos. 3, 4 & 5 / (12) Variations, Opp. 69, 102:1,2; WoO 45
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 9, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B0002UNQ8G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,849 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

The great Martha Argerich here plays Beethoven's Second and Third Piano Concertos. The latter is a work she's performed only twice before (and not for well over 20 years). There are plenty of fireworks in the outer movements, but all is not well between conductor Claudio Abbado and Argerich. In general, his approach seems to be mellower than hers; while she's emoting all over the place, say, in the first movement of the Third, Abbado is moderate and literal, keeping almost all vibrato out of the string section of the orchestra. In addition, the recording invariably favors Argerich and much orchestral detail is obscured. The listener, however, can't deny the excitement, and Argerich plays the middle movements of both concertos rhapsodically. The Second is altogether more successful, with every phrase delivered naturally, as if the piano knows instinctively where to go. This is for Argerich fans--an interesting release. --Robert Levine

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Argerich not at her very best, but fascinating December 9, 2004
Format:Audio CD
This new album brings together two Beethoven Concertos : the second (actually the first written by the composer) and the famous third in C minor. Both concertos were recorded during live performances, in Ferrara (Italy), and for both, the legendary Martha Argerich was followed by her long-time friend Claudio Abbado, conducting the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

The agitation over this album comes from the fact that it is Martha Argerich's first-ever recording of Beethoven's third. It is also relevant to note that the argentinian pianist had performed this work, according to the booklet, only twice in her life, the last one dating back to the late 1970s. For a first attempt in more than 20 years and for a live performance, the result is more than satisfying.

In the first movement, Argerich gives, in my opinion, a very expressive and dramatic rendition, while Abbado is somewhat more temperate and direct. This combination of "fire and water" works pretty well, as both approches tend to mix together towards the end of the movement, just before the tutti that leads to this increadible coda : in the first section, Martha Argerich manages to play these arpeggios faster than anybody I have heard so far, while in the second theme, she is extraordinary expressive, and in the conclusion, she is just poignant. However, I found a bit sad that right after the coda, she didn't manage to play the arpeggios clearly (not difficult enaugh for her?). But overall, the first movement was for me thrilling.

The second movement was in my opinion the best version I have ever heard. What was the most amazing for me was Argerich's quality of sound from the beginning to the end, and also her ability to recreate the piece as if it was being composed while she was playing.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fire and Ice April 8, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Martha Argerich is undoubtedly one of the greatest pianists of our age. Claudio Abbado is clearly one of the greatest conductors of our age. What happens when the fiery Argentine Argerich plays with the cool and elegant Abbado? A combustion that shouldn't happen, but does, somehow. Argerich had never recorded the Third Concerto, and had only played it a handful of times before this live recording. In the first movement Abbado's classicist leanings are at odds with Argerich's almost willful fireworks. And yet it works. Don't ask me to explain that. But, rather like Orpheus taming the Furies in the Fourth Concerto, by the second movement, that lovely island of serenity, Argerich plays her opening solo so slowly, so elegantly, so achingly that time stands still. How she makes the piano sing! And how she manages it at that tempo is beyond understanding. But I can tell you that it is spellbinding. This is indeed a Fury turned into an Orpheus of our age. The Rondo starts at a moderately fast tempo, but seems to get faster and more exciting as it proceeds, and strangely this acceleration seems to come primarily from Abbado in the orchestra's first tutti. Indeed, at one spot later on Argerich gets marginally behind the orchestral onrush. No matter. This is a live concert with, as far as I know, no retakes, and one is caught up in the spirit of the moment. An exhilarating experience.

Our pianist has played the Haydnesque Second Concerto (actually, the first Beethoven wrote, begun way back in 1788) many times in her career. That has always struck me as a little odd, considering how fiery the pianist is and how classically restrained this concerto is. But in this performance she is totally at ease and plays in a patrician manner not usually associated with her.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good to have major Beethoven on record from Argerich! August 11, 2007
Format:Audio CD
There is no shortage of excellent versions of either of these Beethoven concertos but once again Martha Argerich does something unique and spectacular. It is axiomatic that in any work of Beethoven in which there is a piano, the piano is Beethoven himself. That concept is probably overlooked frequently, and many pianists probably do not think of themselves as "being Beethoven" as they play (modesty alone would preclude so doing until one thinks about it), but this concept is at the heart of the success achieved here by Argerich and her outstanding collaborator Claudio Abbado. Maestro Abbado plays it very straight; the Mahler Chamber Orchestra provides a clean and clear but rather straight-laced framework. Within that framework Argerich works her individualistic magic with extreme power, lyricism, and precision. Indeed, when Beethoven himself played, the orchestra had written parts and played what was written as well as it could, while Beethoven played mostly from his head with sometimes just rudimentary sketches (pity the page-turners!). His playing was unlike anything heard before--elemental in its power, shocking in its technical virtuosity and contrasts. There was no issue of the player and the conductor being completely parallel in their expressivity. The orchestra was the foil against which Beethoven reflected his ideas. Beyond a basic degree, there is no requirement for "one-to-one mapping" or pari passu matching between piano and orchestra. (This is obvious in the writing of the Third, for example, where the orchestra opens pianissimo and triadically and the piano finally enters in fortissimo octave scales, setting the pattern of difference to be resolved.) Abbado and Argerich do not, by any means, each go their own way, however. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Elegant, refined, exceptionally well played performances
Listening to Martha Argerich play anything is a joy. She possesses the ability to communicate the most ethereal and the most grandiose passages with equal authority. Read more
Published 12 months ago by John J. Puccio
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
I never know - am I rating the CD or the content? Content has been rated and discussed and critiqued to death already. Read more
Published 19 months ago by CHLNGR
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best #3s period ; very good #2 with a caveat
I find this #3 flawless. Great sound and balance between piano and orchestra. The Mahler Chamber Orchestra is quite skilled and buoyant. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Kirk List
5.0 out of 5 stars Breaking off Mozart with Hammerklavier.
The past season in Boston Symphony had the Piano Concerto No.2 in B-flat major; it is not a Beethoven's work most frequently performed and so it was awaited with special... Read more
Published on July 24, 2012 by Anna Shlimovich
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning and Inspiring!
This CD is a MUST for any Beethoven lover. Not only does Martha display her dazzling technical skills in the most remarkable ways imaginable, her phrasing and lyricism are "off the... Read more
Published on April 28, 2012 by Dr. Warren L. Woodruff
3.0 out of 5 stars Three star (+) for the imperfect collaboration.
Martha Argerich and Claudio Abbado both learnt piano playing from Friedrich Gulda. This is their most recent collaboration after a long lapse of 20 odd years, and it is not... Read more
Published on February 23, 2010 by A. F. S. Mui
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly great performances
I have long enjoyed the mastery and heart of the Schnabel and Fleisher editions of these works. But Martha Argerich's performances of these two concertos are, on first and second... Read more
Published on April 27, 2008 by A. L. Soffin
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic Indeed!
Collaboration between soloist and conductor and orchestra is the key to superlative performance. One can place a headstrong soloist in front of a fine ensemble with a conductor... Read more
Published on December 8, 2005 by Grady Harp
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