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Beethoven: Piano Sonata 1 - 32, Piano Concertos 1 - 5 [Box set] [Box set, Import]

Ludwig van Beethoven , Horst Stein , Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra , Friedrich Gulda Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Price: $70.65 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Beethoven: Piano Sonata 1 - 32, Piano Concertos 1 - 5 [Box set] + Mozart: Complete Gulda Tapes + Complete Works for Cello & Piano
Price for all three: $134.37

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Product Details

  • Performer: Friedrich Gulda
  • Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Horst Stein
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (November 4, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 12
  • Format: Box set, Import
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Amadeo/Decca
  • ASIN: B000BQV52A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,459 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SURPRISINGLY WONDERFUL - 4 1/2 stars! July 22, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have just listened to this set completely through, so I'm simply going to offer brief initial impressions - but as I titled this review, Gulda's interpreations are surprisingly wonderful.

I had stayed away from Gulda as a "fringe" interpreter (i.e., Yves Nat) an acquired taste best left to those who seemed somewhat fanatical about his musicianship. I was never too concerned about his "crossover" status (Keith Jarrett is another in this select group, a musician who simply went in the reverse direction when he recorded his wonderful Shostakovich) but I was concerned that I'd have another Gould sitting on my shelves. (I love Gould, though not his Beethoven although it is always thought provoking. But I can only live with so much provocation...)

Not to worry. Gulda's interest in jazz is reflected in his rock solid rhythmic foundation to these works. His only similarities to Gould are in regard to his unquestionnable technique (minimal pedaling, extreme clarity) and in the later sonatas when he plays on the faster end of the spectrum. Personally, I appreciate the slower, more profound work of Richter, Serkin, and Arrau in these later sonatas. Still, Gulda offers very competitive interpretations.

His speed, technique, and clarity work well in favor of the earlier sonatas particularly the earliest "Haydn-esque" sonatas. The adagio of the Moonlight is played beautifully, and at a respectful tempo. (Unlike Gould. Gulda's speed does not pervert any of the sonata's slower movements) Needless to say the presto is taken at a furious clip. But listen to the presto of #15 to get an idea of his speed - almost a galloping rhythm. This is pianism of the highest order - whether of not the speed and clarity of texture is your cup of tea is another matter.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible playing! April 25, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I recently purchased this set of Friedrich Gulda's performances of the Beethoven piano sonatas and concertos and was astonished. I would give it seven or eight stars but Amazon holds one to five. I own Brendel's set (the one from the 1990's, though I have some discs from his 1960's set, too) and have listened to numerous interpretations of various sonatas by many pianists over the years--love Serkin's Apassionata, for instance. Nevertheless, I was not prepared for the playing on these discs. It is common knowledge that Gulda had amazing technique and there is no question that he is at the height of his powers here. Invariably, he takes the sonatas faster than Brendel but the playing does not seem hurried or forced. Indeed, the feel is almost 'organic' in that upon listening one thinks, "yes, that is exactly how that was meant to be played." None of us has ever heard Beethoven perform these works, but he was described by contemporaries as a 'brilliant' player, sometimes sacrificing accuracy for effect. Gulda gets the effects with accuracy. I think Herr Beethoven would have approved. And Gulda never seems near his limit but puts his immense technique at the service of the music. I certainly don't mean to denigrate Brendel. His interpretations are thoughtful and his playing is of a high caliber. Had I never heard the Gulda, I would tell others (actually I have) that Brendel is the best set to buy. I could not say that now. Because Gulda takes the faster movements rather fast, the slow movements seem slower when they are actually played at about the same tempo as Brendel, thus creating a sense of greater expansiveness, less compression. These are performances that are, to my ear, 'right' in a way that leaves Brendel's merely scholarly and 'correct'. Read more ›
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I just recieved this magnificent box set today 14/6/2010 and I was stunned by the music,the performance and the sound quality.
This is the 1968 amadeo/decca of the complete sonatas and the 1971-3 concertos.
In my personal opinion Gulda is the best pianist I've ever heard.
I was about to get kempff for his reputation but when I purchased the complete piano and cello Beethoven works of gulda and fournier I was struck by gulda's performance.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow this is great playing May 27, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I would like to thank the reviewers of this box. I have Ashkenazy, Kempff-Stereo, Goode, Frank,Brendel 1st Philips, Schnabel, and this box They are all wonderful pianists. As an amateur pianist I have learned and played many of these sonatas. Each artist brings something special to their interpretation. This playing is very exciting,very individual,and never ponderous. Gulda obviously had awesome technique. Give this set a try I don't think you will regret it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Priceless Treasure for $50- beat that February 12, 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I listened to samples of several pianists playing these pieces and instantly approved of Gulda. I do not know if he is the definitive performer of these works, or if there is one. I agree with another reviewer as to not like Glen Gould on Beethoven though. That man is suited to Bach...I digress. As to other musicians, I will not go into them one by one, but each had some quality that rubbed me wrong instantly. Just a feeling. Or the set of their works was too pricey comparatively. This set is a bargain for 12 CDs and I feel the best deal around (though price just went up- should we all stop praising it?). You may want other sets of the same works if you are an avid collector, but you will not need any others. I have a second edition of a few of the works. These works are uniformly good, but with standouts. That is, there are no bad sonatas but there are several great ones. You get two versions of the glorious "Appasionista", Number 23. The sound quality is superb. The playing is level, emotional, intelligent, beautiful, steady. Any good term you can name. If you find a better collection, then I think the difference would be slight. All you need with Beethoven really is a well trained monkey though, let's be honest. Which is perhaps why I dislike Gould. With Bach there is room to make the thing one's own, but with Beethoven and his themes- the work is done. It is magnificent, colossal, stupendous, awe-inspiring, shocking, perfect. He has put so much thought and movement into the music there is only room to play it. Right on the paper he was composer, conductor, and orchestra. Just follow directions. But that is a layman's interpretation. Read more ›
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