This proves to be a worthwhile companion bluray disc to the recent outstanding Thielemann Beethoven symphony set. (see my review.)I am not usually a big fan of combination pianist/conductor set-ups, but in this repertoire, I much prefer this version to the Barenboim set, good as it is.
Buchbinder plays with a much lighter touch than Barenboim, and seems more whimsical.The tempi are considerably quicker. Plus you don't have to watch Barenboim mopping up his perspiration every few bars! I really enjoyed #'s 1 & 3 here more than I usually do, due to his playing sensibilities. I've always been fond of #'s 2 & 5, but I still don't love #4. Buchbinder plays and conducts without a score, a sign of his knowing these concerti inside out. (I'm always skeptical of pianists that need a score in performance.) There just seems to be so much joy in his playing, and this infectiousness is evident in the orchestra members as well.
What can you say about the Vienna Phil. and Beethoven? They are inseparable, Every bar is in their blood.You will hear details in the score you have not previously heard - some of this due to a slightly scaled-down orchestra (only four basses). The sound quality in DTS-MASTER AUDIO is immaculate, both for piano and orchestra.
The video is outstanding also - using unusual camera angles from behind and above the orchestra to show the pianist's keyboard technique.
There is a short interview with Buchbinder and Dr.Joachim Kaiser that delves into the differences in the original and newer editions of the scores - showing mistakes that were made in the copying and hence performance errors - fascinating stuff!
I bought this disc from Amazon UK (available earlier and cheaper than Amazon USA) If you buy discs from them, they show them at 17.99 pounds, but when you check out it reduces to 14.99. Even with a cost of $5 shipping, with the current exchange rate, this means you get a bluray for $29 delivered. If you buy multiples, your shipping cost is much reduced. Bear in mind, too, that you get over 3 hrs. of glorious music on one bluray disc!
To sum up, absolutely indispensable and a screaming bargain to boot!