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Beethoven: Complete Piano Concertos Box set

3 customer reviews

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Image of album by Alfred Brendel


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Alfred Brendel studied piano, composition and conducting in Zagreb and Graz, and completed his piano studies with Edwin Fischer, Paul Baumgartner, and Edward Steuermann. His international career began after winning a prize at the 1949 Busoni Competition and he now performs regularly at the world's major musical centres and festivals. He was the first pianist to record ... Read more in Amazon's Alfred Brendel Store

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Product details

  • Performer: Alfred Brendel
  • Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: James Levine
  • Audio CD (30 May 2002)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B000065TV4
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 127,702 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Piano Concerto No.1
2. Piano Concerto No.2
Disc: 2
1. Piano Concerto No.3
2. Piano Concerto No.4
Disc: 3
1. Piano Concerto No.5
2. Fantasy for piano, chorus and orchestra

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Thomas A. Woodford on 20 July 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Brendel's philosophy of the performer's responsibily towards a piece of music and it's composer is not to all tastes. But with material as unsurpassable as the piano concerti of Beethoven, there is a strong argument for letting these compostitons speak for themselves. His interpretations of the slow movements are laced with heart-wrenching beauty. But with rich yet precise backing from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, this cycle is certainly not lacking the power and emotion which is so integral to Beethoven's work. The results include a poignant and deeply moving rendition of the 4th Concerto, whereas the sweeping grandeur and thunderous delivery of the mighty Emporer Concerto make it perhaps the finest rendition of this incredible masterpiece that I have heard. It is fascinating and rewarding to track Beethoven's development and mastery of this musical form, and it is reassuring to feel that the soloist has as much respect for the composer as the listener.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A de G on 19 Nov. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am very pleased with Brendel's interpretations of Beethoven's piano concertos. He, like so many others nowadays, occasionally tends to play faster than the musical notation prescribes which I find quite annoying. Despite my objection I do recommend this CD-box. Brendel is one of the best interpreters of Beethoven's music.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. R. Bennett on 12 Feb. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The collection is superb but I wish the applause had been omitted. His interpretation is matchless. Thank you Mr. Brendel
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Applause? Yes! 26 Mar. 2004
By T. Beers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Well, unlike the other reviewer, I don't relish the prospect of listening to music while huddled over, next to, or anywhere near my computer while it's briskly editing out all traces of life from my listening experience. As a matter of fact, I like the performances on this disc because they are so beautifully realized in front of a live audience, whose applause isn't unwelcome at all. It just reminds me that music, like dance, is an art form that requires human performance and reception. More live music making please; it's the only kind that matters. And if live concerts can be recorded as beautifully as Philips recorded these Beethoven concerts, so much the better! For the record, Brendel has recorded the Beethoven concertos, complete, four times: first on Vox, then three times for Philips. This set strikes me as his most successful. Levine is a fine Beethoven conductor and Chicago is a marvelous orchestra, but neither comes from the sort of tradition (Viennese) that Brendel brings to bear on his Beethoven performances. I think that very difference of backgound/culture worked to produce a marvelously stimulating encounter, fully appreciated by the audience. In fact, you can sense electricity was in the air. I only regret I wasn't there, but at least I have this souvenir of a remarkable human encounter producing glorious music! (By the way, that sense of electricity is missing from the studio-manufactured performance of the Choral Fantasy included on this set. It's a perfectly respectable performance, but it just doesn't register with the same sense of occasion that positively leaps out at you when you're listening to the concertos.)
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Authoritative Beethoven Piano Concertos 4 Mar. 2011
By Steven O. Hemenway - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
What is the meaning of "Beethoven the Revolutionary"? To some it means that Beethoven was the first true romantic composer; an erroneous notion that is largely a product of the last 150 years of "modern tradition" beginning with people such as Richard Wagner who have tried to make Beethoven over into their image of what he was, distorting what he honestly was. As a composer Beethoven's musical language was still solidly classical, having more in common with Mozart and Haydn than Schumann, Mendelssohn, or Brahms. However, he seemed to be expressing ideas of much greater power than either of his famous predecessors while still trying to utilize the forms and musical syntax they helped to develop. Beethoven needed to expand their possibilities while seemingly not distorting them beyond recognition or making a mess of things spilling all over the place, so to speak. To me the idea of Beethoven as a revolutionary or Titan refers to this titanic struggle to express himself as he desired while still respecting the forms he inherited.

I think at least in part this is what Alfred Brendel has in mind when he set out to make these recordings of the Beethoven piano concertos. He plays them quite regular and straight using little or no rubato, as he frequently does, but seems to avoid stiffness or metronomic playing by springing the rythms. There is a flexibility and dynamism to his playing that keeps it interesting without being exaggerated. Brendel also plays with a great sense of authority and confidence. Every note is clearly articulated with great assurance. There is great power here that does not sound forced but comes very naturally. Brendel had lived with these works for many years and had studied the most recent scholarship before aproaching these performances. Clearly he knows these pieces inside and out.

I think the point I am trying to make about Beethoven as a composer is graphically illustrated particularly in the 5th concerto with passages of delicate beauty alternating with passages of unprecedented power showing the tiantic struggle he was going through in his mind not only to express himself but in contemplating his increasing deafness. Those who feel that Alfred Brendel falls short of expressing as a performer the intentions of Beethoven as fully as he should or could may be approaching these recordings with false expectations of Beethoven being a fully developed romantic composer. For performances that are still coming from the "modern tradition" they are still relatively honest and truthful and maybe some people can't handle the truth. As to the perceived "pinginess" in the sound of the piano it is very slight and could be the result of some minor flaw in the sound engineering of these recordings. It doesn't bother me. The loud applause which is particularly so at the end of the 5th possibility should have been eliminated but it does not ruin for me an otherwise superlative experience. Get over it.

James Levine and and his Chicago Players may not be symbiotic partners but they are more than just supportive accompantists; they seem to be collaboraters with a shared vision which they express with definite skill. The Choral Fantasy with Bernard Haitink and the London Philharmonic definitely one of the best makes a nice addition.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Pity they didn't remaster it. 4 May 2010
By DA Phillipps - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I spent a considerable amount of time searching through the several versions of these concertos that are available at Amazon. Bless their audition tracks! Finally I settled on Alfred Brendel's version. His interpretation is perfect IMO. The recording is not. It is acceptable though, and the magnificence of the music and its performance makes up for the fuzziness of what should have been better recordings. They're not all that old- 1977 for the Fantasy and 1983 for the Concertos.
13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Recording 6 July 2004
By R. Albin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is an excellent set of recordings by the outstanding Alfred Brendel. The orchestral work is similarly excellent. Aside from the uniform excellence of these performances, the best thing about this set is that it provides a really nice picture of the evolution of Beethoven's compositional style. The relatively uniform orchestral and soloist approaches allows a comparison of Beethoven's compositional styles. While recorded with a modern orchestra and a modern piano, the 1st and 2nd concertos display the more Classical style of Beethoven's earlier work. The 5th and final, Emperor, concerto, is an outstanding example of Beethoven's mature and fully Romantic style.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Great performances 3 Jan. 2007
By Matt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If you gave me a choice of any pianist playing these concertos, I'd take Pollini and Rubinstein. However, these recordings are a BIG part of any serious classical music library. Brendel, as always, offers top rate Beethoven interpretations and performances. I particularly enjoyed the second and third piano concertos.
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