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Beethoven For All: Music Of Power, Passion And Beauty [2 CD]

Import, 2 CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Beginning this summer and extending through the fall to the holidays, Decca presents Beethoven for All, a major series of recordings of Ludwig van Beethoven s complete symphonies, piano concertos and piano sonatas with conductor-pianist Daniel Barenboim one of the greatest Beethoven interpreters of our time. The first installment in the series comes June 19 - a two-for-one CD set of highlights from Decca s complete Barenboim-Beethoven series Beethoven for All: Music of Power, Passion and Beauty. This set features select movements from the new recordings of the symphonies, piano concertos and piano sonatas. Speaking to Barenboim s unique gravitas as a dual performer in this music, the U.K. s Observer said: There is no artist alive capable of performing both roles as authoritatively, originally and effectively as pianist-conductor Daniel Barenboim. Also on June 19th comes a five-CD set of Beethoven s Symphonies Nos. 1-9 with Barenboim leading the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, an ensemble acclaimed the world over for imbuing fresh, irresistible life into the classics. Of Barenboim s concerts with this orchestra of multi-national talent, The New York Times said that the conductor s penchant for spontaneous music-making clearly excites these young players, resulting in performances that are impassioned and risky. In August, the Beethoven for All series continues with a five-CD set of Beethoven s Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5 with Barenboim leading the Staatskapelle Berlin from the keyboard. The Financial Times gave high praise to Barenboim s playing of Beethoven with his Berlin players: The performance bore the hallmark of greatness, if only because of Barenboim s willingness to take risks. In his rapt opening bars, he opened the audience s ears; then he let the music fly, not just in his own quasi-improvisatory flourishes at the keyboard but also in the way he and his orchestra explored the music s expressive contrasts. By generating a lot of flexibility within a given tempo, he created a sense of surprise. However well-worn the music, it never sounded predictable.
In October, Decca will release a 10-CD set of Barenboim in new recordings of Beethoven s Piano Sonatas Nos. 1-32. About this monumental cycle often dubbed The New Testament of Music the pianist has said: There is hardly another output from any composer that gives such a clear picture of his development. Reviewing Barenboim s performance of the cycle in London, The Observer singled out his way with great Hammerklavier Sonata No. 29, to which he brought an operatic richness, especially fine in the expressive lyricism of the adagio, a stark contrast to the thundering grandeur of the opening movement and the infectious energy of the intricate finale. The cumulative effect was to leave the audience elated but shattered as the music, and its performer, seemed reborn.

Finally, in November marking Barenboim s 70th birthday Decca will release a deluxe, limited-edition boxed set of the complete Beethoven for All series that includes the complete symphonies, piano concertos and piano sonatas, along with bonus material.

Review

I think the Beethoven symphonies with the Divan orchestra is different in the sense that there is a terrific amount of energy because of the youth of the people but there is just as much rigour. The combination of rigour with youthful energy is very strong --Daniel Barenboim, speaking in the TV documentary on this project

Beethoven for All with Barenboim helps mark the maestro s 70th birthday year (with the date November 15, 2012). In his booklet essay for the complete symphonies set, this veteran artist who has explored the music of Beethoven on record to acclaim since the 1960s lays out his rationale for Beethoven for All : the composer s music as universal art for all time, all people. He writes: Many people feel or think, without really knowing, that music is somehow elitist that it is for people who can afford the money and the time; it s something that has only to do with leisure. But music is not elitist. On the contrary. Music is not only not elitist, music is universal. Even though all the great composers of the past are European, music doesn t speak only to Europeans. (I was born in Argentina; if I were limited to my music, I could only play tango!) This music, although it was written by Beethoven in Bonn or in Vienna, speaks to people in Ramallah, in Australia, and everywhere else. This is why it is not elitist. Music is for all, for everybody everybody who opens their mind and heart to it. It needs that curiosity, and it needs attentive listening, but then it s for all. And if you ask people who do not think of themselves as musically inclined: Who do you know? They all say, Beethoven. So if we want music for all, then it must be Beethoven. --Daniel Barenboim

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Digital Booklet: Beethoven for All - Music of Power, Passion & Beauty
Digital Booklet: Beethoven for All - Music of Power, Passion & Beauty
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Product details

  • Performer: West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
  • Orchestra: West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
  • Conductor: Daniel Barenboim
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (June 19, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B007VP6Z6U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,576 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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