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Beethoven Piano Concertos 1 - 5 ( Daniel Barenboim Staatskapelle Berlin) [Blu-ray] [2009] [NTSC]

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Beethoven Piano Concertos 1 - 5 ( Daniel Barenboim Staatskapelle Berlin) [Blu-ray] [2009] [NTSC]
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  • Berliner Philharmoniker - Daniel Barenboim plays Mozart's Piano Concertos [Blu-ray] [2012] [Region Free]
Total price: £59.98
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Product details

  • Format: Classical, Colour, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: EuroArts
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Oct. 2009
  • Run Time: 198 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002P9K9SW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 78,985 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Orchestral Concert

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
You won't buy this blu-ray for the HD video quality, although it is very good.
You'll buy this for the superb DTS HD Master Audio quality.

This Blu-ray comes with 2 soundtracks - Stereo PCM and DTS HD MA surround. The stereo is fine but to be fully immersed in the music you will require a quality 5.1 surround system that supports DTS HD Master Audio.

They playing is just superb. Barenboim is a true master conducting the orchestra and playing the piano with such superb control, extracting the complete beauty and emmotion of Beethovens piano concertos. The piano is at the heart of the orchestra (and the music of course), sounds absolutely beautiful and does not overdominate. It is perfectly balanced.

The 5 Piano Concertos were recorded live over 3 days. What I would have given to have had tickets to any of those concerts over the three days.
Remember this is live and flawless. No studio recording. No retakes.

Medici Arts have to be commended - they could have easily milked this with a 2 or 3 disk release. To purchase all 5 piano concertos on one disk with this level of musicianship and sound quality makes this the best value-for-money music blu-ray disk yet released.

Assuming you have a Blu-ray player:
1. Do you have a quality 5.1 surround system that supports DTS HD Master Audio? Yes. BUY!
2. Do you like Beethovens Piano Concertos? Yes. BUY! This is a must for all Beethoven fans.
3. Want to show off your ultra expensive HD Cinema system? BUY!

Frankly the best live Beethoven Piano Concertos. Congratulations Mr Barenboim.

I also wish it were available on SACD or DVD-Audio as well.
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The first thing to note about this issue is the considerable generosity in playing length enabling all five concertos to be accommodated on the one disc. Add to that the undisputed reputation of Barenboim over many years as a highly respected interpreter of Beethoven coupled with an equally respected orchestra and recording company and the whole package seems unbeatable. As has been normal for Barenboim for many years, he directs from the keyboard and this has a clear unifying effect on the interpretation being offered.

This latest set of performances by Barenboim is fully aware of the latest thinking as regards authentic interpretation but played on modern instruments. The orchestra is reduced in size as appropriate. Barenboim has made previous recordings of these works, but in my opinion, these are by far his best. There is ample drive as is typical of Barenboim, but far less of a `Romantic period' feel about these performances than has been apparent in his previous recordings. In other words this set is firmly based in the `Classical period' but with increasing drama through the set which prepares the way for the `Romantics' without actually being there. In my opinion this is historically correct. The use of a reduced modern orchestra keeps the scale correct while allowing greater impact of the individually more powerful modern instruments. This balances his use of the modern 'Steinway Grand' solo instrument. In my opinion this is a good solution to delivering a period performance in a modern context.

The imaging is crisp and the camera work is fully involving without being invasive or distracting. The sound is presented in good quality DTS-HD surround as well as stereo.
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Having been thrilled by the recent BBC recordings of Barenboim and the Staatskapelle playing the Beethoven concertos in London's Festival Hall, I was keen to buy this disc, and a new Blu-Ray player to play it on.
Nearly everything about this BRD is superb. The performances are brilliant, the filming and sound recording are superb, so realistic that you can practically feel the sweat rolling down Barenboim's face. There's a lot of that, as, clearly, it was very hot under the spotlights in Bochum's modernistic Jahrhundert Halle, and he's a really physical player-conductor.
I'm not expert enough to evaluate the performances, but I liked them very much indeed. I also liked the surroundings, and the "clash" between their modernism and the somewhat archaic formality of orchestral players in bow ties and tails. DB himself is less formally dressed, as if to provide a contrast.
However, I reserve a big black mark for Medici, the publishers (and take off 1 star). Why oh why did they omit a proper menu, by which those of us with less-complicated BRD players can navigate our way round the contents? I think they thereby did a disservice - a major disservice - to their customers, to the performers (and the composer!), and to the film production team who have done so well. Perhaps Medici could repair this disgraceful omission in future editions ... ?
Otherwise, you won't get better or more "immediate" Beethoven than this.
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I knew Barenboim was good but I didn't know he was this good. I wouldn't think these concertos have been played with such self-assured mastery since Beethoven played them himself!

I put them on intending to listen to the first one but actually watched/listened to half the disc before I could tear myself away and the other half before the day was out. The visuals work much better than they do with his equally masterful Beethoven sonatas, because with an orchestra, there's more for the cameras to look at.

Regarding the technical issues that have been raised, I would guess that the differences of opinion arise from people having different facilities on their machines and remotes. My machine displays only a "play" option when the disc loads and that is what comes up whenever I press "top menu". If I want chapters, they have to be called up via "pop menu/menu". It's odd not to have them on the top menu, certainly, but as a last resort, it would be easy just to click through the chapters/movements and with music of this quality, it would be a small price to pay.
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