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Beethoven: Piano Concertos No 3 & 4 / Bronfman

Release Date: 09/13/2005 
Label:  Arte Nova   Catalog #: 640100   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Yefim Bronfman
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

These are sensational performances. They have everything: drama, poetry, and a real point of view, all while recognizing the latest scholarship with respect to playing music of the Classical period. It's fascinating to hear how interesting an interpretation can become when a big-boned Romantic soloist like Bronfman meets, in Zinman, an adherent of the historical performance practice movement. Like the recent Berezovsky/Dausgaard recordings on Simax, the result is a wonderfully combustible mixture that marries style and spontaneity, discipline and improvisational freedom in a true partnership of equals. This, after all, is what a classical concerto is all about.

The most obviously
Read more noteworthy characteristic of these interpretations is their keen sense of rhythm. Listen to the opening of the Third Concerto. Staccato is sharply accented, but never excessively clipped; Zinman's bold contrasts revitalize the music's revolutionary character, a view with which Bronfman fully agrees. His entrance is propulsive and exciting yet sensitive to the opportunities for dialog with the orchestra. The aggressive but unusually rhythmically precise body of the movement helps to emphasize the rhapsodic freedom and brilliance of the cadenza, while the ensuing Largo, appropriately flowing, has a limpid beauty colored by a lovely contribution from the solo flute. Bronfman takes special care to sculpt the all-important bass lines in the left hand at the start of the finale, and the razor-sharp exchanges between solo and orchestra produce a dramatic dialog of the highest order.

Bronfman opens the Fourth Concerto with a lyrical simplicity that is very affecting, and Zinman seconds him with an orchestral response that is just as fresh and direct. There are other ways to play the music, of course, that emphasize its half-lights and darker undercurrents (consider Arrau/Davis, for example), but the classical approach suits this most Mozartian of Beethoven concertos especially well. Those nice, tight rhythms create vivid contrasts in the dialog between piano and strings in the second movement while preserving a certain intrinsic lightness that I often miss in the heavy-duty German approach. Listen also to how clearly the solo cello underlines the piano's initial statement of the finale's opening theme--just one more example of the prevailing excellent balances and of Bronfman's willingness to listen to his colleagues while still giving his part plenty of interest through characterful accents and shapely phrasing. Exceptionally natural sonics allow the musical excellence of the readings to speak for itself. A marvelous disc!

– David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Concerto for Piano no 3 in C minor, Op. 37 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Yefim Bronfman (Piano)
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria 
Concerto for Piano no 4 in G major, Op. 58 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Yefim Bronfman (Piano)
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1806; Vienna, Austria 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  3 Customer Reviews )
 Outstanding October 25, 2016 By owen  ryan (lakewood, CA) See All My Reviews "Another deletion? Stop the press! After a little investigation I've found out that Brilliant Classics has reissued all five of the Bronfman-Zinman/Zurich Piano Concertos of Beethoven in a 3 CD set for $18-. But wait, from Sony, for a mere $12- more you can have all the piano and violin concertos, all nine symphonies, the overtures and more. At $2.67 a disc for this 11 disc box set this is a great bargain. These are, for the most part, first class modern performances recorded in excellent sound. Don't pass this up." Report Abuse
 Fabulous Performance! January 4, 2014 By William A. (Natick, MA) See All My Reviews "Bronfman does a great job, particularly in No 3 .. highly recommended!" Report Abuse
 Clear sound November 17, 2012 By H. van Hal (NIJMEGEN, Netherlands) See All My Reviews "When you are searching for a clear piano-sound dominating the orchestra, you have to buy this version of the Piano-concertos of L.v.Beethoven. The quality of the recordings are also very nice. Enjoy this music !" Report Abuse
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