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Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 4 Original recording remastered

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, August 1, 2006
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 4
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  • Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 / Handel Variations, Op. 24 / Waltzes, Op. 39
Total price: $33.75
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Editorial Reviews

GREAT PERFORMANCES:BEETHOVEN PIANOS C
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
1
30
15:26
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2
30
9:53
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3
30
8:31
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4
30
18:07
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5
30
5:07
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6
30
9:07
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Product Details

  • Performer: Leon Fleisher
  • Orchestra: The Cleveland Orchestra
  • Conductor: George Szell
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (August 1, 2006)
  • Rmst ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Run Time: 66 minutes
  • ASIN: B000F6YW6W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,209 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Sound quality definitely is improved in this latest remastering of what to me is an obvious must-own recording, combining one each of my top favourite Beethoven 3rd and 4th Concerto recordings (see my current favourites attached below). In fact I'm wondering if this is the first time on CD that the original master tape and not a production master (at least a first or second generation copy) of No. 4 was used. I still own two sets of the original LPs (one run-down, the other near mint), and this is the first CD remastering to surpass the LP reproducing Fleisher's ever-changing dynamic and tonal shadings - wonderful! The master tape may have minor flaws due to age, storage, whatever (e.g. in the beautifully done first movement cadenza - Beethoven's longer and to my mind more attractive one), but there's rather less hiss, and strings and especially winds sound more realistic. One of those recordings I'd buy again and again, when a better remastering becomes available.

Please dear responsibles at Sony Classical: what about the other three Fleisher/Szell Beethoven Concertos? What about a complete Leon Fleisher anthology since we're at it?

Please!!!

- Beethoven/Fleisher; Szell, CO: Piano Cto. 3 (1961) - Epic/Sony
- Beethoven/Rubinstein; Leinsdorf, BSO: Piano Cto. 3 (1967) - RCA
- Beethoven/Solomon; Menges, LPO: Piano Cto. 3 (1956, cadenza by Clara Schumann) - HMV/Testament
- Beethoven/Schnabel; Sargent, LPO: Piano Cto. 3 (1932) - HMV/Pearl & Naxos
- Beethoven/Gould; Karajan, BPO: Piano Cto. 3 (Berlin 1957) - SFB-RBB/Sony
[Beethoven/Arrau; Klemperer, PO: Piano Cto. 3 (London 1955) - BBC/Testament]
[Beethoven/Arrau; Davis, SD: Piano Cto. 3 (1987) - Philips]
[Beethoven/Solomon; Boult, BBCSO: Piano Cto.
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4 Comments 49 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this more than 40 years ago. Wore the record out.

The 3rd Piano Concerto is as heroic as the 3rd symphony.

I have heard many other artists. But Fleischer has always stood

out as the most awe-inspiring. None match his performance of

the 3rd Piano Concerto. Listen just to the beginning and

you will see I am right. But listen to the showering trills,

too. What joy. I am very grateful to be be able to get in digital

format so many years later.
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Format: Audio CD
Sony has done wonderful job of remastering Fleisher's near-miracle great performance of Beethoven concerti. It sounds so vivid and fresh. Orchestra too sounds so alive and powerful. I hope they will remaster other three conceri too, especially the unsurpassed incandescent account of emperor concerto played magnificently with astonishing tonal delicacy and rapt serenity.
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Format: Audio CD
Although often touted as an automatic classic, I think one's reaction to the Fleisher/Szell Beethoven cycle depends on how you view Beethoven. For me, the most important adjectives are heroic, revolutionary, romantic, and powerful. In those terms, the approach of Fleisher and Szell isn't a perfect fit. For them, Beethoven is classical, precise, organized, and fast-moving. If you think the same, these are flawless readings, and the new remastering does wonders with the thin, hissy sonics heard on Epic LPs in the early Sixties.

For many pianists, Beethoven the classicist becomes an excuse for cautious underplaying, constantly pulling the music back to the world of Haydn. That's not true here. Fleisher remains powerful and large-scaled almost all the time. He doesn't tiptoe. Yet at the same time, he practices a good deal of restraint. Just listen to the "Daniel in the lion's den" slow movement of the Fourth Concerto, or the finale of the same work. Fleisher plays with delicacy and finesse--a trifle too much of both for me--and reduces rubato to a discreet minimum.

My ideal in the Beethoven concertos is Edwin Fischer, Arthur Schnabel, the young Gilels, and Rudolf Serkin. They all combine romanticism and power with Fleisher's great alertness and superb musicality. In the end, these are five-star performances if you are tuned into them more than I am.
7 Comments 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
It's an excellent recording of Fleisher's playing. I honestly did not hear too much of his playing prior to this recording, but I am impressed with his incredible velicity, talent and artistic interpretation.
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Format: Audio CD
George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra were long known for becoming one of the geratest orchestras of the 20th century, and for developing a musical precision not usually seen outside of the elite orchestras of the world. Leon Fleisher was known for being the main successor to Schnabel's style of Piano playing, which works perfectly in combination with the Cleveland Orchestra. Soloist, Orchestra and conductor all working together and sounding like a single soloists, rather than dozens of individual musicians. They are listening ot each other play, and it brings out great results from everyone involved.

I would also recommend EMI's "Great Recording's of the Century' series and the DG Originals series if you want to compare these famous recordings with other notable recordings from previous decades. Ashkenazy with George Solti might also be another version worth looking into, but Fleisher is still the best of the bunch and this CD can be had for budget pricing if you look around.

Otto Klemperer / Daniel Barneboim made a notable recording of all 5 concertos, which I Have on CD, but I still come back to the Fleisher / Szell combo for its precision, balance and technical qualities.

Superb precision from the Cleveland Orchestra combined with the piano skills of Leon Fleisher show why these great performances still gets rave reviews decades later.

Sony originally released cds back in the 1990's, they had all 5 piano concertos by Szell / Cleveland / Fleisher, combined with the tripple concerto (Ormandy / Rose/ Stern / Philadelphia), but those discs are out of print. The previous cd incarnation had concteros 3 and 4 on seperate cd's, with the 1 and 2 throw in, but this version puts 3 and 4 on the same disc.
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