A true bargain
Ryan Richards | Midland, MI United States | 06/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of those hidden treasures of the classical world: wonderful musical interpretation at a bargain price. Zacharias, Hoelscher and Schiff bring the Triple Concerto to life with clear, compelling performances. There isn't anything especially amazing about their rendition, but it's powerful and boisterous--the way Beethoven should be--and for that it's my personal favorite interpretation. The Gewandhaus Orchestra is up to its usual taut standards, and the overall effect is just fantastic. The Dresden Staatskapelle doesn't hold together quite as well on the Third Concerto, although they compensate for the occasional rough edge with a dark, rich, powerful sound that really accents Zacharias's fireworks at the piano. Again, not an overly individual performance, but as with the Triple Concerto, it's powerfully and solidly done. That kind of solid work on a mid-price CD makes the CD a bargain in my mind."
Well played but routine interpretations
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 09/11/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I don't share the first reviewer's enthusiasm for this CD, although admittedly it's a bargain. As so often happens, Kurt Masur's conducting is plain-faced and routine. Perhaps that's why Heinrich Schiff, usually a vigorous performer, seems bland here. Zacharias tends to lead the ensemble in the Triple Concerto, and his playing shows more life than that of the other two soloists. The sonics and clean, and the orchestra plays well enough, but there are better bargains among Triple Concerto recordings (for example, the readings led by Szell on Sony and Fricsay on DG). As for the Third Piano Concerto, Zacharias becomes more vigours on his own, and his reading can't be faulted for taste and technique. However, his performance pales compared with Serkin/Bernstein, also available as a bargain on Sony."
Steven Tiger | 11/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Maybe I am prejudiced, because I wanted to get recordings of both works, and here they were together. But I really cannot fault either performance. I don't think it is necessary or even desirable to expect every new recording of standard repertoire to offer innovative interpretations. This familiar music carries its own irresistible grandeur and delight, and perhaps it is wisest for performers simply to let the music speak for itself without imposing idiosyncratically original notions. If a performer has an original notion that is insightful and historically appropriate, great, let's hear it. But all I really wanted from this recording is Beethoven, and these performers deliver the genius of Beethoven's music without getting in its way. I love every moment of this recording."