WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org
Welcome to ArkivMusic, the retail store for Public Radio Market!

Beethoven: Piano Concertos, Triple Concerto / Abbado, Pollini, Berlin Po, Et Al


Release Date: 07/08/2008 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 001051902   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ludwig van BeethovenAlfredo Casella
Performer:  Maurizio PolliniMario BrunelloIlya GringoltsAlexander Lonquich
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic OrchestraSimon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 54 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The remarkable combination of Pollini, Abbado, and the Berlin PO in the Beethoven five was captured live on three discs and issued originally in 1994. Included is a bonus Triple Concerto by fast-rising star Gustavo Dudamel’s Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra—here recorded in 2006 under the direction of Claudio Abbado, the orchestra’s most distinguished sponsor, rather than under Dudamel. In all five piano concertos, Abbado and Pollini are in command. The piano concertos are vintage Pollini—cool, clear, powerful, and soft when necessary but unfortunately not sufficiently poetic, yet very appropriate almost everywhere else—where poetry should not be sought. Local phrase-shaping to make for an interesting tour is not often enough Pollini’s Read more way, nor is it Abbado’s. Instead, both Pollini and Abbado shape their sound for the landscape rather than for the individual plantings. Jerry Dubins perceptively observed this about Pollini in his 31:6 review of Pollini’s recording of the op. 2 sonatas. Pollini’s first movement of No. 1 is technically dazzling, very analytical, and cool to the point of seeming, unfortunately, facile at times. His second movement is a beautiful Largo portrait with details always discernable. The final movement is technically marvelous, but not overly distinctive. Abbado shows his typical command of the orchestral details, resulting in a very rewarding performance. The earlier Second Concerto is unpretentious and straightforward, clearly exposing Beethoven’s early genius at part-writing. No. 3 opens and continues throughout the first movement with the strong C-Minor mode that characterizes Beethoven so well. Pollini and Abbado give us a second movement with not only the right notes and dynamics, but also with the essence of this hymn-like movement. C-Minor returns in the final movement songfully, in contrast to the challenge of the first movement bar 111 piano entry. The Fourth and Fifth Concertos show Pollini and Abbado at their best. Pollini’s shaped phrases (for a change) and Abbado’s directing of the prominent woodwinds (oboe especially) and of the strings in the first movement of No. 4 are ideal for this lyrical music. The slow movement, where Schnabel and Sargent set the example, follows the Schnabel/Sargent approach without copying it. The result is electrifying. Pollini enters the final movement very quietly to comport with the fading final bars of the second movement. After that, Pollini and Abbado give us a vivace that carries the movement to its exuberant conclusion. The “Emperor” is conveyed by one of the best performances in my memory. Pollini opens the first movement with a controlled rubato that sets the scene for the rest of the movement—actually the rest of the concerto under the Pollini/Abbado architecture. What follows is a heroic sound with great part-writing clarity throughout. The B-Major Adagio movement that follows is extraordinary in its purity and serenity. After the magnificently performed final movement, I relistened to this “Emperor” immediately, not wishing to depart from its spell.

The “Triple Concerto” bonus is quite a surprise. The playing is truly professional, with excellent intonation. The soloists, about whom no biographical information is presented, are very good. Especially notable is the cellist for his mastery of this very difficult solo part. No, they do not approach the likes of Oistrakh, Rostropovich, and Richter, for example, but their account of this music comes off extremely well. Pianist Lonquich and cellist Brunello were born in 1960, the former in Germany and the latter in Italy. Russian-born violinist Gringolts, the baby of the three, was born in 1982. All have been prizewinners in various musical competitions, and all have ongoing musical careers of distinction.

-- Burton Rothleder, FANFARE [11/2008]
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in C major, Op. 15 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1795; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 37 Minutes 31 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 19 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1793/1798; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 28 Minutes 2 Secs. 
3.
Concerto for Piano no 3 in C minor, Op. 37 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 35 Minutes 47 Secs. 
4.
Concerto for Piano no 4 in G major, Op. 58 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1806; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 32 Minutes 33 Secs. 
5.
Concerto for Piano no 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 "Emperor" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1809; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 38 Minutes 19 Secs. 
6.
Concerto for Piano, Violin and Cello in C major, Op. 56 "Triple Concerto" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Mario Brunello (Cello), Ilya Gringolts (Violin), Alexander Lonquich (Piano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela
Period: Classical 
Written: 1804; Vienna, Austria 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In