WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Beethoven: Piano Concertos / Buchbinder, Wiener Philharmoniker [blu-ray]


Release Date: 01/31/2012 
Label:  C Major   Catalog #: 708904  
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Rudolf Buchbinder
Conductor:  Rudolf Buchbinder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 3 Hours 35 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
Blu-ray Video:  $39.99
In Stock



Notes and Editorial Reviews

This Blu-ray Disc is only playable on Blu-ray Disc players and not compatible with standard DVD players.

Also available on standard DVD

BUCHBINDER PLAYS BEETHOVEN PIANO CONCERTOS (Blu-ray Disc Version)


Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos 1–5 Rudolf Buchbinder, piano and conductor Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Recorded live at the Goldener Saal der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna on 5–8 May 2011

Bonus: - Buchbinder's Beethoven – A musical conversation between Rudolf Buchbinder and Joachim Kaiser

Picture format: 1080i High Definition
Sound format: PCM Stereo / DTS-HD
Read more Master Audio 5.0
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Subtitles (bonus): English, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Korean Running time: 186 mins (concertos) + 29 mins (bonus)

No. of Discs: 1 (BD 50)

3560660.az_BEETHOVEN_Piano_Concertos_Nos.html

BEETHOVEN Piano Concertos: Nos. 1–5 Rudolf Buchbinder (pn, cond); Vienna PO C MAJOR 708904 (Blu-ray: 215:00) Live: Vienna 5/5–8/2011


& Buchbinder’s Beethoven


Rudolf Buchbinder’s devotion to Beethoven’s piano concertos borders on the obsessive. He first played one in public in 1956, at the age of 10, on the stage of Vienna’s Musikverein. Buchbinder returned 55 years later to the same venue to perform and record the five works with the Vienna Philharmonic over a five-day span.


We learn in a more-interesting-than-usual bonus feature, a discussion between Buchbinder and Joachim Kaiser, an esteemed German musicologist and critic, that the pianist has collected 32 editions of the Beethoven concertos and has studied them exhaustively. (Buchbinder travels with his own set of orchestral parts when he performs the works.) Comparing even the earliest published versions to a facsimile of the composer’s manuscript, Buchbinder notes that some of Beethoven’s intentions—meaningful ones—have been violated and the errors just pile up over time. Even so-called urtext editions can have problems. Ironically, Buchbinder doesn’t find these discoveries to be confining but, instead, liberating. As an example, he pulls out a particular edition of a late piano sonata and points out that the composer places an a tempo indication after an expressivo. “Normally, a tempo comes after ritardando or accelerando,” notes the pianist. “Nobody puts a tempo after expressivo like Beethoven does.” Buchbinder feels that such details allow for “emotional emphasis” in his performances, and that his readings are more flexible because he has studied the sources so closely.


Buchbinder further assures that the performances achieve his ideal by leading the orchestra from the piano bench. He estimates that he’s conducted piano concertos in this fashion four or five hundred times and tells Kaiser the potential payoff: “Every last member of the orchestra suddenly bears a much greater responsibility. It’s a whole different way of making music, a kind of larger-scale chamber music.” Although an actual conductor might shape phrases more meticulously and ensure more perfect unanimity of attack and release, an ensemble as accomplished as the Vienna Philharmonic can deliver on these points just fine without some guy waving a baton in front of them—especially when, as is apparent here, they respect the soloist collaborating with them. As if to underscore the democratic nature of the endeavor, Buchbinder dresses like the orchestral players in a dark suit and grey tie. (The VPO is still about 98-percent male, as far as I can tell, which undermines any impression of egalitarianism.)


For all the musicological grunt work that Buchbinder has done, these are still interpretations, of course. The pianist rejects the notion that the early concertos (or the first couple of symphonies, for that matter) are anything other than “genuine Beethoven” and there’s no attempt to make them sound like Haydn or Mozart. The five readings are very much of a piece—measured, non-fussy, exquisitely proportioned, and lyrically articulate. Self-consciously brusque and cantankerous Beethoven is in short supply here, even though the performances are in no way lacking expressive power. Buchbinder’s technique is as confident as ever; there are no obvious slips even as he is attending to the orchestra. In the interview, we hear that Buchbinder is one of the few who, in the First Concerto’s opening movement, plays a passage of rapid descending octaves with the right hand only, dutifully striking a critical bass note (a dominant G) with the left; most pianists will fudge by using the sustain pedal to free up both hands for the octaves. “I’ll only play the Piano Concerto No. 1, which has been with me since I was 10, for as long as I can play this passage correctly, with one hand,” Buchbinder pledges. “If I have to cheat, I’ll instantly stop.”


The Musikverein is a difficult hall to record in and Unitel’s engineers wisely opt for a fairly close-up sonic perspective. There’s a pleasingly dimensional representation of the solo instrument, especially with the surround program. The video is as direct and unadorned as Buchbinder’s performances, possessing a natural flow and eschewing distracting artiness. For the interview, there are subtitles in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, and—a first, in my experience—Korean. This disc is a mandatory addition to a basic classical Blu-ray collection.


FANFARE: Andrew Quint
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano no 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 "Emperor" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Rudolf Buchbinder (Piano)
Conductor:  Rudolf Buchbinder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1809; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 4 in G major, Op. 58 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Rudolf Buchbinder (Piano)
Conductor:  Rudolf Buchbinder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1806; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Concerto for Piano no 3 in C minor, Op. 37 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Rudolf Buchbinder (Piano)
Conductor:  Rudolf Buchbinder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria 
4.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 19 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Rudolf Buchbinder (Piano)
Conductor:  Rudolf Buchbinder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1793/1798; Vienna, Austria 
5.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in C major, Op. 15 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Rudolf Buchbinder (Piano)
Conductor:  Rudolf Buchbinder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1795; 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 - TRY IT FREE!
Listen to all your favorite classical music for only $20/month.
Sign up for your monthly subscription service and get unlimited access to the most comprehensive digital catalog of classical music in the world - new releases. bestsellers, advanced releases and more.
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In