Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ludwig van Beethoven, Claudio Abbado, Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra|
Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5; Triple Concerto
One of the greatest Beethoven Piano Concerto cycles of recent times, from Abbado and fellow countryman Maurizio Pollini, returns to the catalogue at an attractive price (3-for-2). A brand-new recording of Beethoven's Tripl... more »
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One of the greatest Beethoven Piano Concerto cycles of recent times, from Abbado and fellow countryman Maurizio Pollini, returns to the catalogue at an attractive price (3-for-2). A brand-new recording of Beethoven's Triple Concerto fills out the package, with Maestro Abbado conducting the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela (about whom Abbado has said, "[This] young orchestra's devotion to music [has] deeply impressed me.") and a dynamic trio of soloists.
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The piano concertos are a known quantity, but here's a new T
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 09/06/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It would be easy to miss the special nature of this box set, which is that it contains a new, never before released Triple Concerto with the Simon Bolivar Youth Orhestra of Venezuela. For those who haven't caught the meteoric rise of the orchesstra's young conductor, media darling Gustavo Dudamel, what he's accomplished with his young musicians is phenomenal. These are poor kids drawn largely from the slums of Caracas. Through a national program of musical training known as La Sistema, Venezeula boasts dozens of youth orchestras, the cream of the crop being the Simon Bolivar.
As led by Abbado, they sound polished and professional to a remarkable degree. Of the three soloists, I was only familiar with violinist Ilya Gringolts, who has been promoted by DG as a rising young virtuoso (they seem to have dropped him lately, however). In cellist Mario Brunello and pianist Alexander Longquist I hear fine musicianship without much originality or flair. In keeping with Abbado's general approach to Beethoven, this Triple Cto. is straightforwaard and decidedly middle of the road. But I'm not here to compare it with top-flight readings, only to admire the brilliant and moving success of the orhestra.
As for the piano concertos that are the main attraction, I am not overly enthusiastic and would award them only three stars on their own. I've reviewed these five performances separately and have the same reservation throughout. Pollini shows flashes of brilliance, but Abbado provides a pedestrian setting, and so the results tend to be chalk and cheese. Others are free to disagree, naturally, and in any case, these readings are never less than poised and elegant (two virtues I don't admire when it comes to playing Beethoven, however)."
Not surpassing Pollini's 1970s 3rd, and 5th.
Abel | Hong Kong | 04/27/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The re-issued set, with Abbado as the main attraction.
However, much as I revere Claudio Abbado, I don't think his Beethoven is the best around.
Pollini owns all the pianism that's required for these Beethoven concerti - if you could just but listen to the various cadenzas in this cycle, of which ALL were written by Beethoven himself, and compare with Friederich Gulda's set with Stein, also with Beethoven's cadenzas.
Then, what makes this set not as good as the VPO's under Stein and Gulda?
The main reason, I think, lies with Abbado's reading of Beethoven.
The reading did not capture Beethoven's spirit to the full, if you could excuse me for comparing this set with Stein/Gulda's. It is evident that Gulda and Stein exhausted almost every bit of musical element in these pieces. The elan and musicality there was so abundant.
Here, Abbado and Pollini opted for a solely Appollonian view of Beethoven, and missed out the more humanistic touches: the humour, the fun, the twists, so to speak.
Still, there is much to admire from this cycle - the style is grand, the orchestra immaculate, and the soloist first class.
However, I do enjoy more Pollini's older reading with Karl Boehm of the 3rd and 5th earlier."