One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

CD: Crotchet AmazonUK AmazonUS

Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor, Op.37 [35:10]
Piano Concerto No.4 in G major, Op.58 [32:24]
Piano Concerto No.5 in E flat major, Op.73 ‘Emperor’ [35:48]
Artur Pizarro (piano)
Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras
rec. Perth Concert Hall, 2-5 November 2008. DDD
LINN CKD336 [67:34 + 35:48]
Experience Classicsonline

Fresh from their much-lauded recording of Mozart’s later symphonies, Sir Charles Mackerras and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra turn their attention to Beethoven’s final three piano concertos.

This double disc set has much to commend it. Firstly, the recorded sound is superb. Warm and intimate, it sets the orchestra firmly alongside the piano but never allowing either to dominate the other. The orchestral playing is exuberant, and Artur Pizarro’s performance is thoughtful and sensitive.

Although traditionally regarded as the more stormy and ‘romantic’ of the three later concertos, No.3 has much in common with Mozart’s final works for piano and orchestra. Perhaps with this in mind, Pizarro and Mackerras focus on its inherent intimacy and delicacy. In the second movement, for example, the relaxed tempo feels just right for the expressive largo. The final scherzo, meanwhile, is full of jokey Mozartian touches, and a genuinely entertaining dialogue between piano and orchestra. In contrast, the opening Allegro is a little too understated, with not enough ‘brio’ across the movement, particularly in the cadenza.

This timidity continues into the fourth concerto and rather kills off the surprise of Beethoven’s opening movement. Pizarro’s halting initial chords lack that sense of hushed mystery. And although he makes better work of the re-entry of the piano following the extended orchestral prelude, Pizarro and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra remain frustratingly timid. The plunging and rising chords of the central section are just too calm, and it isn’t until the recapitulation that the pace picks up. The brief second movement works well, with angry, chopping strings soothed by the piano’s gentle response. In the final Rondo, both soloist and orchestra bound along with huge energy and humour to produce a varied and satisfying conclusion.

The opening to Beethoven’s fifth ‘Emperor’ concerto is more promising than the fourth, with Pizarro and the Scottish Chamber players providing a suitably majestic introduction. But again, things begin to sag in the middle, with a gradual sapping of energy and retreat into timidity until vigour returns in the final section. The gentle touch is more fitting in Beethoven’s beautifully lyrical central adagio, with its mood of quiet reflection. The pace picks up again - and this time is sustained - in the final Rondo, with vibrant flourishes from both piano and orchestra. There is no doubting the technical skill on display in this recording, and it offers an intelligent and broadly satisfying reading of all three concertos. But for more excitement and daring, listeners might want to turn elsewhere.

John-Pierre Joyce

see also review by Simon Thompson



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount




Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.