Beethoven piano concertos, complete‏

by richibi

so that you may enjoy these masterpieces at your leisure, I’ve
compiled, for an online musical library you might easily store
among your “Folders”, the best I could find of Beethoven’s five
piano concertos on the Internet, all of them of course complete,
which is to say with all of their unabridged individual sections,
for what is a concerto by definition without its integral
movements, its parts, in Beethoven these fast, slow, fast, in
that order, fast first to draw in your attention, slow then to
signal the composer’s, the interpreters’ varied musical abilities,
versatility, then last fast again to send you off on your merry
way a happy, even exhilarated, camper, these are the
traditional, Classical, structural arrangements, this will change

there are better performances than the clutch of five here first
presented, a collaboration several years ago between a somewhat
celebrated, though inpressively able, performer, Krystian
Zimmerman – an especially European fame, which is of course not
surprising it being their very own music, which resounds for
them more than for us culturally, who only sporadically retained
some vestiges of it generally in our psyches across the pond,
we were busy building countries – and the illustrious, legendary
Leonard Bernstein, who died before finishing this august project
so that Zimerman had to continue on his own, he conducts from the
bench the 1, and the 2, having, I think, channeled his eminent
master for his conducting work sounds magnificently similar

there are better performances, I say, but there are also much,
much worse, and both Bernstein and Zimerman are entirely
worth the price of admission, only your time

the 1, in C major, opus 15 (1796/7)

the 2, in B flat major, opus 19 (1787/9)

the 3, in C minor, opus 37 (1800)

the 4, in G major, opus 58 (1805/6)

and the 5, in E flat major, the mighty, the “Emperor”, opus 73 (1809/11)

I couldn’t help adding to this compendium an alternate 2 of
great energy and enthusiasm, with younger and less austere
celebrants, Paul Lewis plays the piano with Andris Nelsons
conducting the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
at
the Royal Albert Hall, London, July 29, 2010

what the old lack in dexterity, agility, they make up for in
tenderness, Alfred Brendel, another titan, sent shivers up my
spine early with the very first quiet notes he spun, delicately,
exquisitely, then intermittently again thrillingly throughout
so that I often swooned, flushed, he is led by Claudio Abbado,
whose silken sounds are never in the shadow of the great
pianist, the other equal part of that bilateral heaven

Claudio Abbado replaced Herbert von Karajan, that illustrious
luminary, at the head of the Berlin Philharmonic, with the Vienna
Philharmonic perhaps the two best orchestras then in the world,
when von Karajan died, 1989, this incidentally just after women
were being allowed in those orchestras, 1982 in Berlin, Karajan
was not amused, 1997 in Vienna, a contentious development still
over there, Vienna has only one yet, the harpist

they do a sublime, ravishing, utterly captivating Third, they are
at the Lucerne Festival with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra,
August 10, 2005

George Li is 15, Mark Churchill conducts the Symphony ProMusica,
somewhere, January 30, 2011, an intriguing curiosity, they do the
4, the enchanting unexpected encore is a piano transcription from
a flute obbligato, a required flute solo, from Glück’s wonderful
opera, “Orphée et Eurydice“, stick around

Beethoven transcends age incidentally, as well as cultures, races,
one might note, in that last production, the work, the sine qua
no
n indeed, the otherwise-there-is-none, of art

do not try to do all this at once, this is entirely for your delectation,
and further reference

Richard

psst: for the Beethoven, take out your metronome, or just
tap the beat, or nod to it, note again the rigidity of
the beat in Beethoven, you can even get up and
marvel, dance

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