"Daniel Barenboim's 1968 EMI recording of the five Beethoven piano concertos with Klemperer and the New Philharmonia is one of the most illuminating and characterful of all the post-war cycles. It was an inspired piece of casting, the ageing master and sage acolyte locked, like characters in a novel by Hermann Hesse, into a quest of mutual self-illumination. Even today, the performances retain a remarkable dynamic charge, emotionally and intellectually. But the old master is dead and the pupil must make his own way in the world; a journey which after such companionship is bound to be a lonely one. In this sense, by taking on the near-impossible task of directing as well as playing the concertos, Barenboim testifies to Kiemperer'sRead more irreplaceability as well as confirming the strength of his own inner musical life and that feeling of virtual withdrawal from the world which in recent years has given his Beethoven playing a self-communing quality devoid of all taint of the merely narcissistic.
Barenboim is, then, not only a greatly experienced Beethovenian, he is also a pianist to whom one is bound to listen. The joy of these performances is in the quality of the musical discourse: the fine limning of line and harmony, the timing and dynamic shading, all wonderfully judged, felt from within, sensitively and generously, at the moment of release. The C minor Concerto (No. 3), which perhaps suits the pianist/conductor formula best of all, is particularly fine."