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Beethoven: The Piano Concertos


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Audio CD, January 7, 2014
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Wiener Philharmoniker
  • Audio CD (January 7, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Label: Sony Classical / Sony Masterworks
  • ASIN: B00F2VHERE
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,246 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By P. Adrian on November 11, 2013
Rudolf Buchbinder is one of the foremost pianists of our time. His compelling and inspired versions of the classical-romantic masterpieces have earned him a worldwide esteem among music lovers and critics alike. Spanning a half-century, his career has entitled him to approach music from a very authoritative point of view. Moreover, in good Viennese tradition, Buchbinder assumes sometimes the double posture as soloist and conductor. It is the case here, where the Austrian musician leads from the keyboard the famous Vienna Philharmonic in the complete cycle of Beethoven piano concertos. Recorded live in two consecutive days, these wonderful CDs testify Buchbinder's magisterial command of the keyboard and his unimpeachable stylistic insight with respect to this music.

As a personal note, I must add that Buchbinder performed the same program recently in Bucharest (September 2013) during the "George Enescu" International Festival, this time accompanied by the "George Enescu" Philharmonic. His thrilling performance blown the roof at the Romanian Athenee such thundering and enthusiast the standing ovations were. As a member of the audience on that occasion, I decided instantly to buy this CD-box set and I am delighted to cherish this way those special moments by repeated listening to them.

Undoubtedly, a five stars recording!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stanley Crowe TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 17, 2014
Rudolf Buchbinder performed all five Beethoven Piano Concertos in the course of a Saturday evening concert and a Sunday matinee the following day. They were recorded in May 2011 in the main concert-hall of Vienna, and Buchbinder directed the orchestra from the keyboard. The performances were filmed for DVD and recorded for CD release by Sony, and here they are. I imagine the prospect of taking on the challenge of playing and directing these pieces in such a short space of time might get the adrenalin going, and that seems to be the case here: these are terrific performances, with Buchbinder playing as if inspired, fully responsive to the tenderness of the slow movements, which he is not ashamed to linger over in places, and as a result the energy he brings to the finales is all the more exciting and engaging. For all that, nothing seems exaggerated or overdone, and the piano playing is simply magnificent. One could quibble here and there -- are the opening movements of Nos. 1 and 2 really "con brio"? -- but you'll get no arguments from me. Buchbinder clearly knows what he wants, and one gets the feeling that his eye is always on the bigger picture -- the impression the audience has at the end, rather than just milking local effects (not that the playing, phrase by phrase, is anything but enlivening!).

I really need to play some pieces again to fix my thoughts about them, but it seems to me so far that No. 4 is especially outstanding. The short strange slow movement is gripping here, and the following finale -- which I think of as not disconnected from the slow movement -- has energy, charm, and wit to burn. It is simply outstanding. And in this concerto, you can hear Buchbinder bearing down AND having fun with Beethoven's cadenzas.
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