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Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 4, Etc / Robert Levin, Et Al

Release Date: 04/08/2003 
Label:  Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog #: 474224   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Robert LevinAnette IsserlisDavid WatkinAlan George,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique members
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This disc was originally included as a bonus in the set of Beethoven piano concertos performed by Robert Levin, with John Eliot Gardiner on Archiv. Universal Classics has performed a valuable service to collectors by releasing it singly at a lower price. While the transcription of the Fourth Piano Concerto might be seen as an interesting addendum to the collected concertos, there are differences between the original version and this one that go beyond curiosity value: There are substantial alterations in the solo music of the first movement, less substantial ones in the finale. The chamber version was reconstructed from Beethoven’s sketches by Hans-Werner Küthen.

While it is fascinating to compare the reduction of the
Read more concerto with the concert version, the transcription of the Second Symphony can stand convincingly on its own. It’s only natural to “hear” the orchestra when listening to the concerto, but the timbres of the symphony transcription are so different, you can almost imagine that it’s a newly discovered trio. And while I find that it’s quite common, when listening to the period performances of the concertos, to miss the weight and strength of a modern piano and orchestra, in these intimate settings I have no such misgivings.

-- Christopher Abbot, FANFARE

Beethoven was a past master at recycling his compositions for different instrumental forces... Given this context, the recent discovery of an arrangement of the Fourth Piano Concerto for piano and string quintet should come as no great surprise. This reconstructed chamber version, commissioned by Beethoven’s patron Prince Lobkowitz, differs quite significantly from the original, particularly in the piano part which is much more elaborate, providing some startling additions of material, especially in the development section of the first movement. Despite the intimate scoring, the bravura writing of the revised piano part induces Robert Levin to deliver a much more extrovert account of the work than in his earlier recording of the Concerto. He is equally forceful in the trio adaptation of the Second Symphony, where the two string players offer gritty support... [A]n important release...

-- Erik Levi, BBC Music Magazine [reviewing DG 459622]
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Piano no 4 in G major, Op. 58 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Robert Levin (Piano), Anette Isserlis (Viola), David Watkin (Cello),
Alan George (Viola), Lucy Howard (Violin), Peter Hanson (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique members
Period: Classical 
Written: 1806; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranged: Ludwig van Beethoven 
2. Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 36 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Robert Levin (Piano), Peter Hanson (Violin), David Watkin (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique members
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801-1802; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranged: Ludwig van Beethoven 

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