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Claudio Arrau: Beethoven Piano Sonatas (2011)

 NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Euroarts
  • DVD Release Date: May 31, 2011
  • Run Time: 190 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004TWOXI0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,971 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Claudio Arrau performs at the Beethovenfest in 1970 and 1977 in Bonn.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
By jsa
Verified Purchase
This two DVD set features pianist Claudio Arrau performing eight Beethoven sonatas at Bonn's prestigious Beethovenfest in 1970, the composer's bicentenary, and 1977. I'll keep my comments to a minimum here and say that these performances are among the most powerful I've heard from this great Beethoven pianist - and this includes the many times I heard him in recital from the early 1970's through the 1980's.

While the producers elected to open the set with the 1977 Beethovenfest recordings (op. 53 "Waldstein," op. 2 no. 3 and op. 111), perhaps because they're in color, I'll comment first on the second disc which is from the more significant 1970 Festival (recorded in black & white, but in no way inferior from a video or sonic perspective). Arrau was 67 at the time and in top form; and there is only one word that begins to convey the performances of the five sonatas he covers (op. 27 no 1, op. 109, op. 57, op. 27 no. 2, and op 81a): and that is "gigantic." From the opening bars of the 13th sonata ("quasi una fantasia"), Arrau displays incredible energy and absolute authority that carry straight through to the Les Adieux, which closes the program. There's an aggressiveness to his attack combined with complete keyboard mastery that's simply thrilling to watch. Just watch him throw his hands at the keys during the Appassionata -- amazing. Arrau's immersion in the music is total and his expressiveness second to none, while tremendous dramatic energy is generated from the keyboard in controlled waves of sound. Nothing is overlooked yet nothing is overstated. So overwhelming is the impression made here that it's my opinion that not one of these five sonata performances, which bear the imprint of true creative genius, is anything less than definitive.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Awaited Releases June 6, 2011
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One of the greatest honors for any pianist was to be invited to perform at the 1970 Beethovenfest in Bonn,Germany.It was a special year,celebrating the 200th anniversary of Beethoven's
birth ( In Bonn,of course ) .W.Kempff,F.Gulda and C.Arrau were among the
handful of great Beethoven performers invited to play his
piano sonatas.Finally,more than 40 years later,we can experiance some of the solemmnity and excitement of the event.It
captures Arrau at the peak of his interpretative gifts and his technique in awesome shape. The
black and white, made for TV video,is of much better quality than other Arrau videos, for EMI ( Schumann,Beethoven from 1964 and also 1970)or VAI ( Mozart,Beethoven for
the Canadian TV in 1964). This 2 DVD pack also offers Arrau in a 1977 Beethovenfest recital (color video) with 3 sonatas ( Op.53,Op.2,No.3,Op.111),wich unfortunately ommits the Op.35 Variations ( "Eroica").The quality of the video and sound are optimal.The novelty is the Op.2,No.3.The Op.111 is better performed in other Arrau videos ( VAI 1964,EMI 1970 )The total content includes 8 sonatas,wich were Arrau's most performed ones in the later years of his career along with the Op.10,No.3 ( The seventh Sonata),wich is available on a Kultur VHS,recorded in Chile in 1984.Obviouly the
five sonatas offered in the 1970 recital are probably the best Arrau performances ever available on any video format and are a "must have".So,grab it without hesitation to learn how a master live performance materializes
without second takes nor editings.For the non-Arrau enthusiasts,it may explain his legendary and long-lasting fame
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arrau's unsurpassed mastery. February 17, 2012
By Luca
In my opinion, these two are the best DVDs concerning Claudio Arrau you can find on the market. In both these Beethovenian recitals, Arrau (1903-1991) is in perfect physical conditions (look at how agilely he moves walking to and from the piano in comparison, for instance, with the 1988 movie concerning the Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto with Colin Davis), has reached a full interpretative maturity, plays live in a top level international musical context (the Bonn Beethovenfest).

Both concerts (CD1: 1977, color-mono, op. 53, op. 2 no. 3 and op. 111 // CD2: 1970, black&white-mono, op. 27 no. 1, op. 109, op. 57, op. 27 no. 2 and op. 81a) definitively testify Arrau's unsurpassed mastery: it is self-evident that he exactly knows what to do and that he does it, perfectly. In other terms, he completely dominates the stuff from a technical, intellectual, cultural and spiritual point of view.
As Neville Cardus suggested, Arrau is able to drive us inside and through the secret aspects of Music. But not by means of a mere intellectualistic approach. It is self-evident, in these DVDs, that Arrau plays in a state of transfiguration.
He does not use the Ego, but something of superior that transcends the Ego and all its limitations (vanity or fear, for instance) or constraining bonds. Inserted in this context, his terrific technical mastery is the instrument and the pre-condition that allows Arrau to transcend the written music, nevertheless remaining faithful to it (he edited for Peters all the 32 Beethoven's sonatas), and to bring back to us the wholeness of the message encrypted in it.

In these movies, it is evident that Arrau does not minimally fear difficulties.
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