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Idil Biret Beethoven Edition, Vol. 7

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 24, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

"Biret grasps the size of Beethoven' style. The polyphony is laid out in a relaxed way with little indulgence in point making. She keeps the big line and yet is thankfully sparing in her use of fortissimos. The piano tone is sumptuous. Biret' gentle a

Product Details

  • Conductor: --
  • Composer: Beethoven
  • Audio CD (February 24, 2009)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Idil Biret
  • ASIN: B001NZA0DS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,785,687 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 18, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The two piano concertos on this CD, no. 3 in c minor, opus 37 and no. 4 in G major opus 58 are part of Idil Biret's extensive "Beethoven Edition", consisting of the 32 piano sonatas, five piano concertos, and nine symphonies in the transcriptions by Liszt. The recordings are part of the "Idel Biret Archive" and distributed by Naxos. The CDs sell at a budget price and constitute an ambitious and successful traversal of Beethoven's piano music. The Turkish pianist Idil Biret (b. 1941) studied with Kempff and Corot and has recorded extensively over the years. She still has not received the widespread recognition she deserves.

Interestingly, Biret has recorded the concertos with the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, the first professional orchestra in Turkey conducted by the Polish conductor Antoni Wit. The CDs were recorded in Turkey in January, 2008. There is very stiff competition, both at full-price and at budget-price, in recordings of the Beethoven piano concertos. Biret offers solid, well-thought out, and personal readings. It is good to hear as well Turkey's orchestral contribution to the world of classical music.

Listeners differ on their favorite Beethoven piano concerto, but I am fondest of no. 3. It is a large-scale work composed on the verge of Beethoven's second maturity. The work has moments of heroism, tragedy, and lyricism. It is symphonically conceived with the lengthiest orchestral introduction in the Beethoven concertos. Following the introduction, the work becomes a virtuoso piece for the piano, with long scales, including the passage with which the solo part begins, large sections in octaves and heavy chords, and flamboyant runs down the length of the keyboard. The opening movement also has a lengthy and difficult cadenza.
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Format: Audio CD
This disc is released as volume two of the complete piano concertos, and volume seven of the ongoing complete Beethoven series, all part of an immense summary effort to release or re-release nearly everything that Turkish piano star Idil Biret has recorded - for nearly everybody, over the years of her busy, continent-hopping career. But this immense effort - remember the old Vox complete boxes? - is anything but an empty vanity project.

It is probably safe to say that Idil Biret is Turkey's greatest living pianist. (Fazil Say is a much younger player whose name is also internationally recognized.) She demonstrated interest and talent early on, and eventually ended up in Paris studying at The Conservatory where she was tutored and mentored by no less a figure than the famous Nadia Boulanger. By age fifteen years, Idil Biret had finished her Paris Conservatory courses, earning three first prizes. She then went on to coach, study, and be mentored by French legend Alfred Cortot, and German legend Wilhelm Kempff.

I first came across her during my graduate studies in Boston. It was a release - very odd at the time - of the Franz Liszt solo piano arrangement of Berlioz Symphonie fantastique. Hardly anybody else was playing those old Liszt piano versions of the core Romantic or Classical repertoire in those days; I think maybe Glenn Gould had also been iconoclastic enough to record the Liszt solo piano versions of the Beethoven symphonies. Then a few very striking vinyls popped up in the LP bins, sonatas of Pierre Boulez, Etudes by Ligeti, that sort of recorded repertoire that hardly any major record lable of the era would touch.
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