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Beethoven: The 5 Piano Concertos / Fleisher, Szell


Release Date: 10/25/1990 
Label:  Cbs Masterworks Catalog #: 42445   Spars Code: AAD 
Composer:  Ludwig van BeethovenWolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Leon Fleisher
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 3 Hours 18 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Leon Fleisher’s fiery, brilliant accounts of these concertos are justly celebrated. The young pianist was at his peak when he made the recordings, and while his part in them has been compared with the action of a Swiss watch – brilliant, but a little too tightly wound and mechanical – there was and still is something electrifying about the playing. More than that, the chemistry between Fleisher and the leonine George Szell, in sovereign command of his Cleveland Orchestra, is something to marvel at.

There is a rare feeling of inevitability to these readings. Fleisher plays with extraordinary brilliance, but never with hardness; rather, he exhibits remarkable rhythmic flexibility and lyrical warmth, qualities that are utterly
Read more winning in this music. He is especially expressive in the hymnlike slow movements of Nos. 3 and 5, where he conveys a sense of the gentleness and depth of feeling in the music. With Szell and the Clevelanders standing securely on Olympus, the results are sublime. These then are accounts for lovers of the piano and lovers of the orchestra, as well as for lovers of this music. The recordings give a very bold, close-up view of the proceedings, and the sound is at times a bit grainy, though fairly appealing considering the vintage. These are enduring performances – Fleisher’s crowning achievement on disc, and one of Szell’s greatest moments as well. – Ted Libbey, author of The NPR Guide to Building a Classical CD Collection. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in C major, Op. 15 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Leon Fleisher (Piano)
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1795; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 19 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Leon Fleisher (Piano)
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1793/1798; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Concerto for Piano no 3 in C minor, Op. 37 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Leon Fleisher (Piano)
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria 
4.
Concerto for Piano no 4 in G major, Op. 58 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Leon Fleisher (Piano)
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1806; Vienna, Austria 
5.
Concerto for Piano no 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 "Emperor" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Leon Fleisher (Piano)
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1809; Vienna, Austria 
6.
Concerto for Piano no 25 in C major, K 503 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Leon Fleisher (Piano)
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 

Sound Samples

I. Allegro con brio
II. Largo
III. Rondo: Allegro scherzando
I. Allegro con brio (Instrumental)
II. Adagio
III. Rondo: Molto allegro (Instrumental)
I. Allegro con brio
II. Largo
III. Rondo: Allegro
I. Allegro moderato (Instrumental)
II. Andante con moto (Instrumental)
III. Rondo: Vivace (Instrumental)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 A Blast from the Past May 27, 2013 By C. PRAZAK (ELMHURST, IL) See All My Reviews "I remember listening to these recordings on FM radio decades ago, but I never got around to purchasing them. Now that I have them on MP3 I am not sorry I waited. These recordings are flawless and no scratching, popping, rumble or wow. Fleisher is good now, but he was remarkable then." Report Abuse
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