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Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3 / Michelangeli, Giulini
Ludwig van Beethoven, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3 / Michelangeli, Giulini
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #1

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CD Reviews

Greatest performance of Beethoven's first piano concerto
Juan Carlos Garelli | Buenos Aires, City of Buenos Aires, Argentina | 09/20/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Nobody plays Beethoven C major concerto like Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli!He leaves his competitors lagging far behind. Mostly because ABM's approach is totally Beethovenian, it is the first and only time this concerto is played with all the bravura, heroism, dramatism, sincerely conveying Beethoven's passionate feelings.Most pianist approach the first three piano concertos as if they were sort of Mozartian. Plenty of examples: Maurizio Pollini, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Martha Argerich, Vladimir Horowitz, Emil Gilels, even the great Sviatoslav Richter. They believe that all compositions classified as belonging to Beethoven's early compositions are to be seen as rather immature, and consequently bearing the stamp of 18th century classicism. The C major concerto is Op. 15. The Pathetique piano sonata is Op.13. Now has anybody ever heard the Pathetique has been labelled immature?
Or Mozartian, or even Early? Nonsense. Beethoven was 28 when he finished Op. 15, a wholly mature composer. And so does ABM understand: he plays it as a grand concerto; he is right, it is a great piano concerto, one of the greatest.All the approach is incredible: scales sound so breathtakingly as if you were in a roller-coaster or skiing down the Monte Bianco (let's remember, in passing, ABM was a ski champion). Trills are also so giddy you wonder how ABM manages to keep his balance. His tempo, few rallentandi, are fascinating, his expression incomparable, his sound loudness control marvelous, he sounds colourful, deep, in total mastery. In my opinion it is not only by far the best rendition of the C major piano concerto, it is also high quality music. I rank this CD as the best music I have in my collection.As is well known, ABM found the piano too percussive, so let alone forcefully hammering the keys, especially in fortissimi, as so many a renowned pianist is used to. The outcome of this unique view regarding the acoustic traits of the pianoforte becomes a turning-point in Michelangeli's pianism. Striking chords are always lively and lovingly played, never pounded. ABM uses the most supreme technique, he seems to sculpt his performance out of the finest Carrara marble. The playing is at once Titanic and fine making the music the more Beethovenian, radical and free-spirited. In the first movement of the C Major concerto, the cadenza is played with all the stops out. Scales roll like thunder, minor seconds glint with scarifying brilliance. Midway, there is a terrific accelerando and chords black as judgment day. Then a trill and a devil-may-care return to the principal idea. It is all rather shocking. But Beethoven enjoyed shocking -terrorizing even- the solemn-browed cognoscenti of his day..."
Best performance of Concerto 1&3 I've ever heard
Juan Carlos Garelli | 03/22/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I don't know a thing about classical music but happen to have several CD's with different performances of Beethoven's piano concertos, this is by far the best. The technical skill and emotion of Michelangeli's playing has yet to be surpassed. From a technical (recording) point of view this CD is also superb."
A landmark in the history of recorded music
Vidar Palsson | Garšabęr, Iceland | 12/28/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Such is the popularity of Beethoven's piano concertos that one is offered awfully many high quality recordings of them. Michelangelis account of the 3rd is brilliant and second to none. But the tresure is found in the 1st. The live athmosphere makes you feel the performers very close to you and this magnificent concert is recreated in your'e own livingroom. Many things have been said about Michelangelis share here, it's simply superb. But I must say that I found Giulinis share not less noteworthy. The sound of the orchestra opened a new world in the 1st one for me, expecially in the rondo. Giulini doesn't rush through it but keeps it very lively at the same time. I must come to the conclusion that this must bee the best recording of the 1st avaliable."