Notes and Editorial Reviews
Ivan Moravec recorded Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto twice. This first version, accompanied by the soloist’s brother-in-law Martin Turnovsky in 1963, in demonstration-quality sound, is one of the finest you’ll ever hear. As you might expect from this artist, Moravec’s tone and touch are gorgeousness incarnate. The first movement is a miracle of elegance and grace, the slow movement sublime. But the finale reveals that the pianist has plenty of fire in his belly as well, though he expresses it with a range of dynamic contrasts that never compromises the beauty of his timbre (first sound clip). The Orchestra of the Vienna Musikverein, a “pick-up” ensemble, plays like the Vienna Philharmonic, and might
well have been.
Beethoven’s 27th Piano Sonata and the C minor Variations are no mere makeweights. The same sterling pianism is everywhere on display, particularly in the finale of the sonata, where Moravec presents the principal theme with a subtlety of nuance and evenness of sonority that are truly special, and which define the term “cantabile” (or “singbar,” as Beethoven has it). Recorded in 1966, once again the engineering is outstandingly faithful to Moravec’s instrument. There aren’t many Moravec recordings, and they are spread out over a wide range of labels. His repertoire is limited and he is tremendously self-critical. Yet he’s unquestionably one of the greats, and this is one of his finest discs.
-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Piano no 4 in G major, Op. 58 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Vienna Musikgesellschaft Orchestra
Written: 1806; Vienna, Austria
Date of Recording: 10/1963
Venue: Grosse Saal, Musikverein, Vienna
Length: 32 Minutes 29 Secs.
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