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Piano Concertos 4 & 5 "Emperor"

Ludwig Van Beethoven Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 15.45 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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1. Piano Concerto No. 4 In G Major, Op. 58: I. Allegro moderato
2. Piano Concerto No. 4 In G Major, Op. 58: Andante con moto
3. Piano Concerto No. 4 In G Major, Op. 58: Rondo: Vivace
4. Piano Concerto No. 5 In E Flat Major, Op. 73 'Emperor': I. Allegro
5. Piano Concerto No. 5 In E Flat Major, Op. 73 'Emperor': II. Adagio un poco mosso
6. Piano Concerto No. 5 In E Flat Major, Op. 73 'Emperor': III. Rondo: Allegro

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En 1809, la composition du Cinquième Concerto pour piano fut interrompue par l'occupation française de la capitale impériale viennoise. Beethoven ne cautionna jamais le sous-titre de Empereur attribué à son concerto, lui qui détestait toute forme de dictature ! L'œuvre est pourtant digne d'une ère nouvelle : elle s'ouvre avec l'éclat héroïque d'une symphonie. C'est cette démesure qu'il faut canaliser. Claudio Arrau est en quête d'une sonorité grave, presque religieuse, comme s'il voulait nous montrer que cette partition annonce les grands concertos romantiques à venir. Il improvise une poésie tout en abandonnant une partie de la violence rythmique de la partition. Son sens de la liberté nous fait alors entrer dans un rêve. L'accompagnement de Colin Davis est épuré et ample, laissant respirer le jeu du soliste. --Pierre Graveleau

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finest performance of Concerto No. 4 available. July 13 2002
Format:Audio CD
The Emperor Concerto probably is supposed to be the main attraction on this CD, and the performance of it presenteed here is laudable. But for me the lovely 4th is the most beautiful of the Beethoven Piano Concertos and this performance by Claudio Arrau and Sir Colin Davis is special. It is, quite simply, the most beautiful performance of this uniquely lyrical concerto that I have ever heard. Yes, the tempos are somewhat slower than usual, but this allows Arrau and Davis to bring out all the subtle glories of this very special masterpiece. There are many fine performances of the exhuberant Emperor Concerto available but few pianists and conductors -- even among the most famous -- seem capable of understanding and presenting the gentler beauties contained in the 4th concerto. Arrau and Davis have captured and presented these exquisite beauties better than any other pianist and conductor. If you love the gentler side of Beethoven -- or just great piano music -- I beg you to get this CD and listen to it with open ears. You will be amply rewarded.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb performances I have returned to many times March 28 2002
Format:Audio CD
Both recordings have satisfied me enormously. I find these performances so alluring that I have returned to them more often that I care to remember. What a masterly way of coming home for superb musicians like Arrau and Davis. Most rewarding seems to be the maturity, depthness, pause and authority of delivery, from both Arrau and Davis. Sound quality is first class as well. I recall that these recordings, along with the rest of the cycle, won the 1989 Japan Record Academy Award.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I am very disappointed with this recording. Like too much of Davis's recent recordings, it is excessively "well-behaved." Too slow, too little attention to the musical "line"--to keeping the piece moving.
To hear the great Claudio Arrau at his best, I strongly recommend his 1964 recording with Bernard Haitink conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra (on Philips, I think). I recently came across that, and it's spectacular.
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