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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding set of these Beethoven concertos, 9 Feb 2012
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beethoven: The Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5 (C Major: 708904) [Blu-ray] [2012] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
This series of recordings was made in the Golden Hall in Vienna with the VPO in 2011 and were clearly much enjoyed by the audience. As Buchbinder is a frequent performer in Austria and in Vienna, it is likely that he would be a very familiar figure to Viennese concert goers. They would therefore probably have chosen to attend the concert in the expectation of enjoying a performance of a pianist with whom they would be artistically familiar. Their enthusiasm is therefore easily understood and is largely justified.

The predominant impression gained when experiencing this set of performances by Buchbinder is that of affection. This is apparent in every note or phrase that is played, by his interaction with members of the orchestra and also in his whole stage manner which is immensely genial and likeable.

What about the musical detail? Buchbinder has made an incredibly thorough study of these concertos as he explains in the fascinating bonus documentary. This has led him to collect considerable numbers of editions of all of these works including the first editions in Beethoven's own hand. In doing this he has found numerous discrepancies between editions, even in first editions following on from Beethoven's original manuscripts.

Essentially these editorial discrepancies have frequently deleted many of Beethoven's instructions concerning phrasing, tempi changes and dynamics. Those instructions amount to subtleties of expression which imply more freedom than that allowed by a strict classical approach. Buchbinder maintains that by restoring these instructions, the player has to be more expressive than is often the case and is therefore nearer to Beethoven's original intentions. This makes an interesting challenge to some of the 'authentic' instrument options currently available which are often wary of interpretive expressiveness.

In case this should concern the listener, it should be firmly stated that these changes, although important, do not radically change what would be expected. More importantly it should be noted that these performances, although more flexible and featuring a modern orchestra of fair size, still have bite as required. Energy is apparent throughout as well as a lightness of touch which underlines Beethoven's frequent enjoyment in rhythmic interplay. This is a truly excellent set of the concertos and the engrossing accompanying documentary makes everything that Buchbinder does absolutely clear and completely justified.

The recording maintains the excellence we have come to expect of C Major and provides crisply detailed imaging without being invasive plus excellent DTS surround sound.

This is an outstanding issue to compare with that by Barenboim, also on DVD and Blu-ray and should give considerable pleasure. However, for those who would prefer a more dramatically rigorous approach to these works I would suggest that the equally satisfying Barenboim set would be worth considering as an alternative choice.

Nevertheless, this set could easily be considered by many as the leading contender in this field and well worth serious consideration as a potential purchase.

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I thought that you might like to know that before I buy a recording I now look through all the reviews to see if you have posted one. Your assessments and opinions are invaluable. Thank you. (US review)

I particularly like your format of review. They give the prospective purchaser an idea of the style of the playing and relevant comparisons. They are succinct. Keep up the good work! (UK review)

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delighful performances, 16 Jan 2012
By 
John Chandler (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beethoven: The Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5 (C Major: 708904) [Blu-ray] [2012] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I enjoyed this very much and it is an alternative to the Barenboim set. I felt the camera work was better and musically they are both very good. My one reservation was the proximity of the audience, I found the mouths of the front row mixed in with the soloist's fingering rather distracting. The discussion at the end was most interesting.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful disc, 29 Jan 2012
This review is from: Beethoven: The Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5 (C Major: 708904) [Blu-ray] [2012] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Great interpretation. Beautiful sound and beautiful image for this exceptional Blu-ray. I also have the Blu-ray of the five Beethoven concertos with Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin, but I prefer it with Rudolph Buchbinder. A pianist and conductor even more refined. Bonuses are exciting.
Received in France by Amazon UK very quickly and at an attractive price. Thank you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beethoven in Excelsis, 10 Mar 2014
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I value my copy of this DVD as one of the most enjoyable in my growing collection. The atmosphere is magical.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confidence performance by Buchbinder, 30 April 2013
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This review is from: Beethoven: The Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5 (C Major: 708904) [Blu-ray] [2012] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Mr. Buchbinder plays at the piano, conducts the orchestra, brimming with confidence ... and with smiles. Beethoven might have done the same, performing while conducting, over two hundred years ago ... but, I would venture a guess, that Beethoven did with more seriousness on his face.

Both video and audio are enjoyable to view and listen. The lighting is sufficient. Blu-ray recording gives more pleasure to the eyes viewing the performers at full concentration, and Buchbinder's impressive finger works. He makes my finger twitch (in a good way, of course).
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