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Idil Biret Beethoven Edition 2: Symphonies, Vol. 1

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, December 16, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

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"From the outset of the 1st Symphony one feels that Idil Biret grasps the size of Beethoven' style. The polyphony is laid out in a relaxed way with little indulgence in point-making. She keeps her big line, and yet is thankfully sparing in her use of fo

Review

From the outset of the 1st Symphony one feels that Idil Biret grasps the size of Beethoven's style. The Polyphony is laid out in a relaxed way with little indulgence in point-making. She keeps her bigline, and yet is thankfully sparing in her use of fortissimos. . . This is a remarkable achievement. -- Gramophone Magazine, 2008
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Product Details

  • Composer: Beethoven
  • Audio CD (December 16, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Idil Biret
  • ASIN: B001JNCOH4
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,396,859 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 31, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The renowned Turkish pianist Idil Biret is in the process of releasing recordings of Beethoven's complete piano sonatas, piano concertos and symphonies in the piano transcriptions of Franz Liszt. The sonatas and concertos were recently recorded. The recordings of the symphony transcriptions date from 1986 and are being released anew as part of this large project. The recordings are available at a budget price from the Idel Biret Archive, which aims to make all of Biret's many recordings publicly available, in collaboration with the Naxos label.

This recording of Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 in C, opus 21, and Symphony No. 2 in D, opus 36, was my first exposure to the Liszt transcriptions. Although I usually avoid both transcriptions and Liszt, I was impressed. Liszt loved Beethoven and expended a great deal of effort on these transcriptions. He began his transcriptions in 1838 and did not complete them until 1863, revising and redoing his earlier versions all the while. These transcriptions are a faithful rendering of the Beethoven symphonies for the piano. While they certainly are no substitute for Beethoven's scores, the transcriptions have value in their own right as piano compositions. In the years before radio and recordings, transcriptions were a common way of making music accessible. Transcriptions of Beethoven symphonies, especially for piano four-hands, allowed amateurs to attempt the symphonies. Liszt's transcriptions, however, are virtuosic in character. He wrote them for his own use and they are well beyond the reach of the amateur pianist.

Biret's playing of these works is a joy. She plays with clangor and power combined with grace and subtelty. Liszt aimed to capture the orchestra, but the transcriptions remain pianistic.
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Format: Audio CD
I am reviewing Idil Biret's general performance of the Beethoven-Liszt transcriptions. Every aspect of these arrangements, very importantly pedalling,is most carefully worked out by Liszt.The pedal becomes sustained winds and orchestral sonority and Biret ignors most of the pedal markings, creating very choppy, dry playing.She often adds notes not in Liszt's score,and at the end of mvt.2 of symph.4 omits 2 of the dotted figures. Don't get Katsaris or Scherbakov or the Harmonia Mundi set with various pianists.None of these is faithful to Liszt. How dare they try to improve upon his work.The only recording to get of these amazing transcriptions is Leslie Howard's.----RS
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