Great Music Played Superbly
Mr. Timothy Baker | New York, NY | 03/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD offers wonderful performances of two Beethoven compositions, one very well known, the Piano Concerto #5, and the other somewhat less well-known, the Triple Concerto. The recording of the piano concerto is legendary and remains one of the greatest performances of this piece on record today. Pianist Leon Fleisher and the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by George Szell recorded all of the Beethoven concerti and this performance shows both Fleisher and Cleveland in top form. The Triple Concerto, while less well known than the piano concerto, is a wonderful piece requiring a great orchestra to really bring it to life and give it it's due and the Philadelphia Orchestra with Eugene Ormandy certainly fill the bill. The soloists, Isaac Stern, Leonard Rose and Eugene Istomin give a marvelous performance although here and there the tempos seem a bit slower than I prefer. Still, this is great musicmaking and I highly recommend this recording. By the way, I know a little something about these pieces because I am the violinist of The Amadeus Trio."
Dis iz da bess, dogs! Git doun widdit!
J. Lody | 03/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Behold! The definitive 5! You won't hear better Ludwig PCs than these, period. Buy'em, rip'em, & git doun wid'em! Fleisher and Szell/Cleveland rule! And now it's so great to hear that Leon is back with two hands! Check out his new Brahms chamber album with the Emerson 4! Awesome!"
Great Performances, Lousy Remastering of the Emperor
the unamusicologist | 05/15/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The critical consensus regarding Beethoven's Triple Concerto identifies Oistrakh, Rostropovich, Richter, Karajan, Berlin PO recording as the definitive recording. While an excellent performance, I disagree with the consensus. Stern, Rose, Istomin, and, yes, Ormandy and his Philadelphians delivery superb, rhythmically incisive reading that, due to the wonderful phrasing of both soloists and ensemble, makes for more satisfying listening. Stern, Rose, and Istomin don't wear their virtuosity on the their sleeves the way that Rostropovich and, to a lesser degree, Oistrakh seem to do. In short, the Americans got their musical priorities right in a way that I'm afraid their Soviet counterparts did not.
The rightly acclaimed Fleisher/Szell/Cleveland recording of the Emperor opens this wondeful disc; other reviewers have said enough about this fine performance. I will caution, though, that the remastering suffers, especially at the beginning of the concerto, from some noticeable, fuzzy distortion. (I don't know if the defect is present in the original masters or in subsequent reissues on LP and CD of the performance.) This minor flaw doesn't detract from the overall recording, though: I recommend it highly."