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Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 1 & 3 / Brautigam, Parrott, Norrköping So


Release Date: 05/27/2008 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1692   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Ronald Brautigam
Conductor:  Andrew Parrott
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norrköping Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

Ronald Brautigam is one of those pianists who invariably sounds fresh and involving, even in music that you thought you knew really well. One of the most impressive moments in these performances occurs at the opening of the Largo of the Third concerto, where the hymn-like main theme is so beautifully timed, its legato so well-judged, that you simply can't imagine it being played any other way. This is truly the art that conceals art, and it's entirely characteristic of Brautigam's stylish and intelligent playing in both concertos. I can understand, in the outer movements of the Third concerto or the opening of the First, that some listeners
Read more might prefer a larger sonority or a touch more gravitas (think: Richter or Arrau), but there's very little to fault here, and there's no question that Brautigam captures Beethoven's eruptive energy very well.

For the most part, Andrew Parrott provides equally vital and well-balanced accompaniments, with plenty of thrust given to the trumpets and drums in vintage "period" style. One small reservation I have is that, like so many HIP conductors, Parrott likes to dovetail phrases and indulge a preference for "feminine" endings. There is of course no historical stylistic precedent for these dynamic adjustments--they constitute a mannerism, plain and simple, and one the music can do very well without. Still, because the playing and sonics are so fine in all other respects, it won't do to make too much of this. I look forward to the next installment in what looks to be a fine series. After the weirdness visited on this music by the likes of Mustonen (Ondine) and Pletnev (DG), it's particularly rewarding to hear interpretations that are at once full of character but equally stylish and respectiful of Beethoven's obvious expressive intentions.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in C major, Op. 15 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Ronald Brautigam (Piano)
Conductor:  Andrew Parrott
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norrköping Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1795; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 3 in C minor, Op. 37 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Ronald Brautigam (Piano)
Conductor:  Andrew Parrott
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norrköping Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria 

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