MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

2021
57,473reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

 

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 







Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews

Love-violin-NI6428
Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library

 

 


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 

REVIEW
RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Plain text for smartphones & printers


Advertising on
Musicweb


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 Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

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

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass


Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022


Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32


Orchestral Works


String Quartets Vol 1

 

 

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN(1770-1827)
Complete Piano Concertos
Piano Concerto No.1 in C, Op.15 [36:02]
Piano Concerto No.2 in B. Op.19 [28:38]
Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor, Op.37 [35:03]
Piano Concerto No.4 in G, Op.58 [34:15]
Piano Concerto No.5 in G flat, Op.73 (Emperor) [37:11]
Rudolf Buchbinder (piano and conductor)
Wiener Philharmoniker
rec. live. Grosser Saal, Musikverein, Vienna, May 2011.
SONY CLASSICAL 88883745212 [3 CDs: 64:40 + 69:18 + 37:11]

When it comes to Beethoven, the Austrian pianist Rudolf Buchbinder is in familiar territory. He has already recorded two complete cycles of the Beethoven Piano Sonatas - the latest one two years ago - which are very fine indeed. The concertos, likewise, have been visited many times before; an elusive complete set on Preiser with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra was released in 2007. The performances here were recorded over two days in live concert with the Vienna Philharmonic in the wonderful, rich acoustic of the Musikverein in May 2011. Filmed versions of these events were released on Blu-Ray and DVD in 2012, and have already been reviewed on MusicWeb International.
 
For these performances, Buchbinder, now one of the elder statesmen of the keyboard, has opted to dispense with a conductor and play and direct the concertos himself. Beethoven similarly took on the role of both conductor and pianist at the first performances. For all concerned in these live readings, it is a ‘high-wire act without a safety net’ as the notes take pains to explain. Buchbinder and the VPO have already played some Mozart concertos together in similar fashion.
 
Listening to the cycle I am immediately struck by the pianist’s approach. This is not prettified or porcelain Beethoven, but granite-like in its conception. The performances show Beethoven moving away from Mozart, breaking new ground and employing more symphonic and architectural structures. What is also striking is that this is a partnership of equals, a true dialogue between piano and orchestra. Buchbinder’s impeccable technique allows him to realize his vision. The salient qualities of adventure and struggle permeate the music.
 
Outer movements are energized and some may find those of, say, the first concerto a little too hard-driven. The opening movement of the Emperor is magisterial in its conception, the third movement being bright and energetic. The third movements of the first and second concertos are imbued with wit, humour and joie de vivre, underpinned by an innate sense of rhythmic dynamism. Second movements are never too self-conscious, but lyrical and sensitively sculpted, Buchbinder striving for beauty of tone with exquisite voicing of chords. Tonal colour is achieved with judicious use of pedal. The slow movements are not overly romantic or wallowing, but emotions are contained and suitably reined in. The fourth concerto, which has always been my favorite, is a probing interpretation. The players really get under the skin of the music and tease out its sublime, gentle and heartfelt elements. The third concerto, likewise, is strongly argued.
 
The Vienna Philharmonic, who have this music in their blood, respond well to Buchbinder’s patrician insights and inspiring direction. He elicits refined and polished playing and the sound of the orchestra is enhanced by the glorious acoustic of the Musikverein. The performances hold your attention throughout. The engineers have achieved an ideal balance between piano and orchestra. The piano sound is bright, rounded and full. Tempi and dynamics are rightly judged. Audience applause is retained, but extraneous bronchial contributions seem conspicuously absent. For me, these live recordings stand up there with the greats, which include Brendel/Rattle, Brendel/Levine, both Pollini cycles, Gilels/Szell and Kempff/Van Kempen. These are five star performances, which will keep you on the edge of your seats.
 
Stephen Greenbank

Previous review (Blu-ray): Geoffrey Molyneux

Masterwork Index: Beethoven piano concertos