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Classic Archive: Arturo Michelangeli

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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(Oct 26, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

The pianist performs works by Beethoven, Brahms, and Schubert live in this 1981 concert.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: EuroArts
  • DVD Release Date: October 26, 2010
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0018KW3C4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,786 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Top Customer Reviews

I'm only kidding about my review title. I'm sure he would love it. However, the camera work / performance demeanor - well, as other reviewers imply, it's not likely to catch the eye of your typical 21st century teenager (his face is probably planted in his iPhone anyway). Oh well! I'm actually glad that the camera isn't swerving around in lunatic fashion, with fancy fades here and nauseating twists there. This is more akin to a Gouldian production. We see what we need to see: arms! hands! And occasionally a face! :)

This is a treat. Thoughtful, solid, emotional (inner) and oh-so-Germanic. There really is something so enigmatic, so private, so pensive about Michelangeli's playing. We would do well to study this more introspective approach to art.

I highly recommend this performace. Despite Mr. Michelangeli's flagrant addition of a low B (left hand, last measure of Ballade no. 4). It sure sounded nice on that Steinway... ;)
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[This is a reissue of an earlier Euroarts DVD. I had written a review of that issue and that is what follows.]

Most people agree that Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (1920-1995) was one of the giants of recent pianism. I never had the honor of hearing him live, but I've treasured many of his recordings over the years. (I am particularly fond of his recording of the Ravel G Major Piano Concerto, coupled with the Rachmaninoff Fourth Concerto, on EMI.) And I have seen him only once on television--many years ago playing the Beethoven Fourth Concerto with I don't remember whom. (I've never seen the VHS/DVD that features him and Richter; I really need to rectify that omission.) So, this DVD was a welcome arrival. I certainly was not disappointed with the performances here: Beethoven's Sonata No. 11 in B Flat, Op. 22, and the Sonata No. 12 in A Flat, Op. 26; Schubert's Sonata in A Minor, D. 537 (Op. 164); Brahms's Four Ballades, Op. 10. Indeed, they are immensely enjoyable, and in some cases stupendous.

Michelangeli didn't play all the Beethoven sonatas in his career, at least not in public; in fact, he only played a handful of them. And Opp. 22 and 26 figured large in his recital programs. They are played in reverse order here and I would like to spend a little time on the Op. 26 because I find it so wonderful. From the very beginning of the first movement we know we are in for something special: the sforzato chord at m. 4, for instance, has notable emphasis and slight prolongation on the D flat (which is actually a crushed appoggiatura in an otherwise straightforward A flat chord) that sets the tone for the fairly bold manner of Michelangeli's take on this movement that is so often played as fairly tame, fairly pastoral. (By the way, did you know that Op.
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