Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ludwig van Beethoven, Bernard Haitink, Colin Davis|
Beethoven: Complete Concertos Vol. 2
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kv581 | Durham, NC United States | 02/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What luck on my part! I bought this CD because I wanted an inexpensive recording of the Emperor Concerto. When I came across this CD, I had no idea who Kovacevich is. I simply bought this double CD because it was inexpensive and it also contained the violin concerto and the triple concerto. It wasn't until I actually listened to the recordings when I finally realized that these are far from the sub-par cheap performance that I had come to expect from inexpensive CDs. In fact, after doing some reseach on the musicians, I realized Kovacevich's complete Beethoven piano concerto cycle is considered to be one of the finest. And, as you may know, this field (the Beethoven piano concertos) is one that does not lack competition. Many complete performances by other great pianists exist out there (Brendel, Fleisher, Barenboim, Serkin, and many others), and the Kovacevich recordings rank among the best of them. The other works included in the set are great as well. The Triple Concerto included here was performed by Arrau (another great pianist), Szeryng (violin), and Starker (cello), while the Violin Concerto was performed by Krebbers. Both performances are first-rate, especially the Triple Concerto. The Violin Concerto may be a touch too slow for some people's tastes, but it suits those of us who prefer a more romanic and solemn Beethoven over a more frivolous one. Nevertheless, Kovacevich's Emperor Concerto steals the spotlight here. To complete your Beethoven Piano Concerto set, also check out the Beethoven Complete Concertos 1, which includes the first four of Beethoven piano concertos and 2 violin romances (performed by Kovacevich and Grumiaux, respectively). Quality doesn't come any cheaper than this."
Don't miss this one
J. Buxton | Waltham, MA United States | 06/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In my opinion this is THE Emperor concerto to buy. Kovacevich has another Emperor concerto available through EMI with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, but this one is every bit as vital, and the set is a bargain to boot. The playing is very exciting, detailed, and brilliant. I could go on, but it deserves every praise. The sound quality is astounding for 1969, and Davis and the LSO were in one of their vintage periods. The other works here are recommendable too, particularly the violin concerto. But don't miss this Emperor."
Fantastic "Emperor"? Absolutely
Ryan Richards | Midland, MI United States | 12/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is hands-down THE most compelling, fiery, regal Emperor concerto I've heard. Kovacevich doesn't make any pretense of playing Beethoven "politely" (as some other pianists have done, to the detriment of the music, I feel); he dives into this score and powers his way through it with an energy and ferocity I haven't found anywhere else. Listen to the sharp accents and incredible power in the opening of the concerto's third movement, or the fortissimo series of chords near the end of the first movement's development section. There just isn't a moment when Kovacevich isn't giving 100 percent of his energy and concentration to the music, and the result is an amazingly focused, powerful performance. Davis and the London Symphony are similarly brilliant, delivering a hammerblow performance of their own that complements Kovacevich note for note. The obvious exception to all this energy, of course, is the slow middle movement, which is treated with almost palpable musical tenderness--but no less precision. The other performances on this CD set are competently done as well, particularly the "Little" E Flat Major piano concerto, which is a lightweight sparkler that's a real treat to listen to. But I have other personal favorite performances of most of the other works on this 2-CD set, whereas this Emperor concerto is unbeatable. Look at the other works as enjoyable added bonuses to complement the Emperor, this performance of which is worth the price of this CD set by itself."