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  • Complete Piano Sonatas Nos 1-32 [Blu-ray]
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Complete Piano Sonatas Nos 1-32 [Blu-ray]

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Frequently Bought Together

Complete Piano Sonatas Nos 1-32 [Blu-ray] + Die 12 Cellisten der Berliner Philharmoniker - Anniversary Concert & Documentary [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Box set, Classical, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Japanese
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: EuroArts
  • DVD Release Date: October 30, 2012
  • Run Time: 724 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00925TA28
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,015 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

In 1983-84 pianist Daniel Barenboim took on Beethoven's complete Piano Sonatas, some of the most versatile and challenging works for a pianist. Composed across the rather blurry boundary line between the Classical and Romantic eras, the works are endlessly varied and demanding of a broad musical ear and technique. This digital remaster offers a look at master in his element.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
The sound is in stereo format, not 5.1 or 7.1, etc.
This recording is of Mr. Barenboim performing Beethoven Piano Sonatas No. 1 thru No. 6 at the Schloss Hetzendorf in Vienna in 1983 and 1984.
Warren Harris
Some historical perspective is required to understand this technical situation as well as an understanding of Barenboim's intent.
I. Giles

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kirk McElhearn VINE VOICE on August 16, 2013
This set was recorded in 1983 and 1984 in four different "palaces" and castles, showing Barenboim at what one might call his middle period. His first recording of the Beethoven sonatas on disc, in his mid-twenties, bore the impetuousness of youth. His later interpretations, such as the mid-1980s cycle for DG, show wisdom acquired through experience. These films are from that period, and catch Barenboim at a stage where he had been playing these works for decades. His performances here are polished and refined, though lacking the sparkle of the 2005 live recordings. Barenboim is generally expressionless as he performs, and, while he gets a bit animated at times, his face betrays very little.

The filming is unadventurous. Edits are conservative, there are lots of long shots, and not many showing Barenboim's dazzling finger-work. There is much attention to the surroundings; the buildings are merely the setting for the music, however, and shouldn't be more than that. There are some very long static shots, which are very different from today's MTV-influenced videos.

This leads me back to the original question: what does one expect from a film like this? It's got great music - more than 11 hours of it -, an excellent performer, and is a visual record of that performer in his element. But he's really in a studio - albeit a grandiose one - without the spontaneity of the stage, and in many ways it's similar to a film of someone in a recording studio. No one will watch 11+ hours of Beethoven, or even the 200 minutes or more on each disc (Blu-Ray), in a single sitting. Unlike CDs, which have the convenient length of about an hour, optical discs require more of a time commitment.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Cask05 on March 19, 2013
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...if your expectations are not out of line with what is being presented.

These performances were recorded in ca. 1984 on 35mm film then much later transferred to BD format, with some recordings presenting better than others as he moves from room to room in notable Vienna palaces/living spaces, changing the available light and acoustics with each passing piece. The sound quality and image quality are commensurate with a 35mm film process: if you are expecting surround DTS-HD and 4000+ pixel digital images at high frame rates from a Red Epic or an ARRI Alexa, you're probably going to be disappointed. These videos are very good 35mm quality overall, except perhaps the Appassionata in F minor, no. 23, which suffers from low-light shallow depth-of-field focus issues. The sound is in stereo format, not 5.1 or 7.1, etc.

In terms of the performance itself, Barenboim has an amazingly disarming command of these compositions, once you realize that all 32 sonatas are performed from memory: over 12 hours of music that requires three BD disks of 4 hours each. His interpretations are simultaneously intriguing but also conservative (not overt), accurate to the period but not a slave to accuracy, expressive of his own musical interpretations while maintaining a faithfulness to the original compositional style achieving an overall performance credibility. Barenboim is not a "yet another Beethoven performer", but rather one having his own voice. I was amazed to hear his straightforward interpretations without obvious modern embellishment, but played on a modern Steinway D-274 with its corresponding majestic tonality, dynamics, and commanding presence, as opposed to the forte-piano of Beethoven's period--which is a great distraction when used to play these pieces.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Joseph L. Ponessa on October 8, 2012
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Daniel Barenboim memorized the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas when he was only 17 years of age, and has performed them for half a century. During that time he has recorded at least four complete cycles:
(1) His first recording for Westminster is excerpted in the 3-LP set "Prodigy and Genius: Barenboim and Beethoven." One copy is currently available on eBay.
(2) At the age of 24 he signed a contract with EMI to record his second cycle (1966/69), and it appeared on quality vinyl in a 1970 boxed set, used copies of which can still be found by those who seek to do so. Earlier this year, EMI re-released the cycle on CD, in a significantly better mastering than the previous 1998 CD release.
(3) Metropolitan Video produced and Jean-Pierre Ponnelle directed a third cycle in various acoustically excellent and photogenic settings from 1981 to 1984, and DGG released the soundtrack on audio cassette, "digital LP" and CD (the cover photograph shows Barenboim in the same venue as the video). The whole thing appeared in a series of ten PAL laserdiscs in the UK, and two of the sonatas from this series (Appassionata and Waldstein) appeared on Teldec Warner laserdisc in the US and Japan. Now Euroarts is releasing this series in a triple blu-ray set.
(4) Barenboim performed a complete cycle in a series of concerts at the Staatsoper in Berlin in June and July of 2005. EMI released the DVD and Decca the CD of these performances. The DVD is accompanied by masterclasses, but the sonatas are a little hard to locate because the concerts did not present them in numerical order.
Barenboim's first two cycles were prodigious, and the last one is impressive, but the third captures him at the peak of his powers.
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