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on 31 July 2017
Both Mitsuko and Mariss made such an amazing presentation of the Beethoven concerto. I can hardly refrained myself from playing to listen this blu ray again and again.
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This concert, very well recorded by the ever-reliable Brian Large team in 2011, can be considered a considerable success. The actual recording offers high quality visuals with crisp imaging, true colours and sympathetic camera work that provides detailed close-ups as appropriate combined with more distant views. The sound is also of high quality and is offered in DTS 5.0 and stereo options. The lack of a separate sub-woofer channel seems strange given the sonic nature of the Strauss but in reality there is no lack of bass definition or range.

Mitsuko Uchida has an enviable reputation as a Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert pianist so it is no surprise to find that her performance of Beethoven's third piano concerto is deeply rewarding. The largo is delivered with a concentration that leaves the first two concertos far behind and clearly leads forward to the last two concertos. The outer movements are crisply articulated at a comfortable speed that allows all detail to register properly. This is a very good performance and will come as no surprise to those who know her recordings of the Mozart concertos on CD.

Ein Heldenleben is a large work in every sense and one which makes considerable demands on both the conductor and the orchestra. There have been many notable performances on CD from many conductors and orchestras of repute, not least that by Reiner and the Chicago orchestra in the early days of stereo and now available in SACD form. Karajan's recordings were also of considerable stature. However, Jansons too has become associated with fine performances of this work of late and this performances as delivered by the Bavarian orchestra does not disappoint. Sonically it leaves the competition miles behind and the orchestra, with extra brass and woodwind to lessen the load on individual players, rise splendidly to the task. The extended solo violin part as played by the leader of the orchestra, Anton Barachovsky, deserves a very special mention as being of a particularly sensitive and elevated quality. Not surprisingly. he is singled out for particular applause by the conductor and the packed and enthusiastic audience at the end.

Jansons' interpretation follows fairly traditional lines with tempi chosen and detail brought out in line with any of the most satisfying performances on CD. It is quite clear that this is an interpretation that is well-known by the orchestra who have no difficulty in understanding and delivering his interpretive vision. Once again, this is a deeply satisfying performance made especially enjoyable by the excellence of the recording.

I would therefore suggest that this disc is likely to be a front runner among audio-video choices for a considerable amount of time to come. It is of a quality that may even encourage some long-term collectors to replace their treasured CDs with this new one which can also be enjoyed purely as sound of course. New collectors may wish to consider this as a potential 'only' version and, as such, they will not be disappointed.


Some dialogue from the comments section that may offer further help:

Here's your Excellent Review! You do have a talent for selecting The Best Stuff, Ian! (U.K. review)

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on 14 December 2013
This is a fabulous DVD. Mariss Jansons is undoubtably one of the great conductors alive today. As an accompanist with the Beethoven, played so brilliantly by Mitsuko Uchida and for the Richard Strauss, he shows, once again, what a masterful conductor he is and with the orchestral playing of such high quality from the Bavarian RSO, this recorded concert is a must have.
Highly recommended - not to be missed.
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on 7 February 2014
If you can only have one Beethoven P.C. # 3 Blu-Ray, THIS is the one to buy! When Mitsuko Uchida, the shy 73 Year old Piano Virtuoso plays the piano, the music flows as smoothly and spontaneously as Water bubbling up from a Mountain Spring. In her Blue Blouse and Silver Pants, she looks like a newly hatched Exotic Butterfly, but you know that in her Heart she is still the 12 Year old girl who had just arrived in Vienna in 1952, when her Father was appointed Japanese Amabassador to Austria. Delightful!
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