Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ludwig van Beethoven, Claudio Abbado, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra|
Beethoven: Klavierkonzert No. 5 "Emperor"
A generally strong but patchy 'Emperor'
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 09/06/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I've chafed at the way Abbado takes all his Beethoven, including the piano concertos -- foursquare, conventionl, lacking in imagination. Pollini doesn't always go along with him, and so the first four concertos do have patches of excitement and sparkle. At no time are those readings less than poised -- and of course played impeccably -- but I had higher hopes for the 'Emperor,' where classical roots should fully grow into romantic foliage.
As it happens, Pollini-Abbado do step into the romantic world, but one still senses an overall patchiness. Pollini doesn't convey a central grasp of the score, sometimes cutting loose with abandon, at other times becoming finicky in his phrasing or falling back into routine. As for Abbado, this is a very conventional accompaniment that, once again, errs on the side of restraint. Tempos are middle of the road, in keeping with the reading as a whole.
I will concede that the finale brings in some much-needed vitality, but soon after his first entry Pollini starts fussing with the line. In all, I doubt that any experienced listener could put this verison up against Serkin-Bernstein, Kempff-Leitner, or Kissin-Levine for more than a few minutes without feeling its shortcomings. And all those rivals offer generous fillers."