Philips 50 is a unique collection of classic recordings celebrating many of the finest performances from one of the world's great music catalogues.
Philips Classics' distinguished legacy stretches from the early 1950s to the present day and features many of the finest artists of our time. This new series captures their inspired musicianship and incomparable artistry with greater fidelity than ever before. The famous Philips sound has been further enhanced by the use of the latest 96kHz, 24-bit technology to enable new generations to appreciate once more these critically acclaimed, award-winning recordings.
Philips 50 — a wonderful harvest from 50 years of recording.
Glenn Gould and Leonard Bernstein bring an attractive regal pomp and broad rhetoric to the Third Concerto, yet these qualities work to the more lyrical Fourth's disadvantage. Gould's well-oiled fingers zip rather mechanically through the outer movements in the first two concertos, and he scrutinizes the Emperor with the inquiring mind of a brilliant crank.
The works of some composers, like Villa-Lobos, do not receive the attention they deserve. This double CD with the five piano concertos by Villa-Lobos is sheer delight. The music is romantic and original. The performance of the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra, under Miguel Gomez-Martinez, is more than good. The pianist, Cristina Ortiz, plays in a flawless manner, well integrated with the orchestra. The sound quality of the recording is excellent.
In a century that seemed to turn it's back on the aspirations of 19th century composers, some musicians kept the Romantic tradition of the composer/virtuoso alive well into the 20th century. Perhaps the most important and forward thinking 20th century virtuoso pianist and composer was Serge Prokofiev. Unlike his fellow Russian, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev created a significant body of virtuoso pieces to the piano literature, which also reflected his modernist sensibilities. Among the strongest of these works are the five piano concertos.
The benchmark recording of Beethoven Piano concertos with incomparable Leon Fleisher and George Szell.
As one customer form amazon.com wrote: “This is an outstanding recording. Leon Fleischer and George Szell are a match made in heaven. The standouts in this collection are the Beethoven 4th and the Mozart 25th. George Szell was one of the absolute best conductors of concerti. The musicality and ensemble playing are flawless. The recording of the Mozart 25th is the best I've ever heard. Don't overlook one of Mozart's later masterpieces played so flawlessly. This particular work comes off best with a large modern orchestra,like the CSO, as opposed to a smaller ensemble. Great performances!”
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The New York Times
"Conducted with intense dedication and soaring spirits by Mr. Bernstein, these recordings are superb, both visually and aurally."
From the Director
Leonard Bernstein says about these recordings from the late 70s and 80s, all directed by Humphrey Burton, that there is "no single body of work in the universe of orchestral music that is in any way comparable to this one."
"I offer [this cycle] to all music-loving ears as a testament of faith and of my most profound reactions to this greatest of all composers."–Leonard Bernstein
In remembrance of his 90th birthday, Deutsche Grammophon releases a magnificent 7-DVD box set with Leonard Bernstein conducting and talking about the works of Ludwig van Beethoven. From splendid places in Vienna and Amsterdam, Leonard Bernstein conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam. This ambitious and accomplished box includes all of Ludwig van Beethoven's nine symphonies, the piano concertos with Krystian Zimerman, the monumental Missa solemnis and overtures together with the string quartet op. 131, excerpts from The Creatures of Prometheus and the choral fantasy op. 80.
One hates to admit it, but at this point in his career, pianist Maurizio Pollini is no longer a Mozart player. Although a supreme virtuoso, a passionate intellectual, and a consummate artist, Pollini has grown too brilliant, too intense, and too calculating for Mozart. Pollini's tone is crystalline, his textures are transparent and his tempos are perfect in this breathtaking 2005 recording of the G major and C major piano concertos, but it all seems too cold and too objective. Although he is also directing the Wiener Philharmoniker from the piano, this doesn't seem to encumber Pollini's virtuosity in any way; indeed, he appears to enjoy the challenge, audibly coaxing more force from the musicians' playing.