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4.7 out of 5 stars12
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 5 December 2015
Very pleased to get this set of CD's. The best recordings of Beethoven Concerto's that I have or have heard. Classic Barenboim at his best. Very bright and crisp performances, and of course superb recording quality. I received them this morning and only intended to listen to the concertos over the next few days, but once started I have had a wonderful time listening to them all today (and the "Emperor" twice). Very satisfying to listen to.
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on 13 September 2012
A combination of delicacy and dynamism is what makes Barenboim's performances of the Piano Concertos even more rewarding than his recent recording of the symphonies. Here, rather than being grounded or maintaining too close a focus on the score, he moves seamlessly between corporate joy and personal communication. He may chose only one colour, but will then reveal all its individual hues (notably in the adamant trills of the 1st Concerto). Such detail, including a Rossini-like gradation of dynamic, delivers the music's sense of purpose.

Unlike in the WEDO symphonies, Barenboim allows the Staatskapelle Berlin to enjoy less refined moments. There's an appealing coarseness to the opening of the 2nd Piano Concerto, matching Barenboim's own sense of improvised exploration in the cadenzas. And, unlike the symphonies, they tap the more unbridled joys of Beethoven's world.

The slow intensification of tone in the 4th Concerto provides a particularly thrilling experience. It starts with Barenboim's nigh-passive chords and is followed by cajoling tones from the orchestra. They appear almost annoyed in the Andante (though the piano remains impervious), before the performance ends with a playful-cum-reckless rendition finale. The emotional and musical rewards are immense. And the abandon in 4th comes to the fore even more clearly in the finale of the 'Emperor', where Barenboim's breadth of sound provides steel to that wit.

Right across these works, Barenboim demonstrates an inimitable understanding of how to fulfil the finale bar while delivering the first. But it's when seated at the piano that his Beethoven spans its widest range, providing humour, rhetoric and determination. The symphonies are thoroughbred performances, which cannot disappoint but fall just short of Chailly's dynamic approach (among recent additions to a vast discography). Although the WEDO provides an expansive sound, it ultimately forms a barrier to the lighter more humours passages within the cycle. The piano concertos, on the other hand, are pure gold and indicative of the joys that doubtless lie ahead in Barenboim's recordings of the Piano Sonatas.
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on 19 September 2015
Superb music and excellent recording
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on 21 January 2016
For me, this is the best version of these and I have many. But then I adore Barenboim and his interpretation of Ludwig's works.
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on 13 March 2014
The playing is sublime, the music is stunning, the only issue I have is that the enclosed leaflet is not particularly informative about the recording details or the Orchestra - but this is a tiny detail really... THIS 3 DISC SET IS AMAZING VALUE
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on 18 September 2012
Always been a lover of Beethoven's piano concertos. These recordings are second to none and will be treasured for many years.
Nice of Daniel to update his recordings. I also have the Barenboim/Klemperer recordings of these concertos, they are all special.

Jocelyn Sorenson
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on 2 November 2013
Just brilliant recording! I love them. Their delivery was prompt too in a well packed box. Barenboim's performance is one of the 'MUST' for a classical lovers.
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on 11 February 2015
Technically impressive, good recording and all the notes played in the right order ( I believe ) - but I have some almost prehistoric recordings which I find more sensitively played.
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on 20 January 2014
Beautiful recording from a superb artist.
Chosen for my piano playing daughter-in-law, and she was delighted with her Christmas present.
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on 8 June 2013
Beautifully played piano part and wonderful interpretation by Daniel Barenboim and the East West Divan Orchestra.This CD has given me much pleasure, solace and joy.
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