At the heart of Beethoven’s life’s statement as a composer lies the cycle of sixteen string quartets, which, to this day, has retained a special status and reverence. Since 2012, the Elias String Quartet has been immersed in its Beethoven Project, performing all Beethoven’s string quartets at venues throughout the UK. In this live recording, the ensemble captures both the intimacy and grandeur of the works. With an ever-expanding recording catalogue that has been met with widespread critical acclaim, the quartet is delighted to release this disc, the first volume of its complete Beethoven cycle to be recorded live at Wigmore Hall over the coming Seasons.
Documentary following concert pianist Leif Ove Andsnes as he attempts, in a series of worldwide performances, to interpret one of the greatest sets of works for piano ever written - Beethoven's five piano concertos. However, the film is more than a portrait of a famous musician on tour - it is an exploration into Ludwig van Beethoven's life as revealed by these five masterworks. The relationship between the composer and his world is mirrored by the relationship between the pianist and orchestra in these concertos. Andsnes offers rare insights into the mind of a world-class pianist and access to his personal and professional life. Against the background of Leif Ove playing these pieces, we also peel back the myths of Beethoven's life - from prodigious talent in Vienna to greatest composer alive by the time he wrote the fifth concerto.
The Beethoven symphonies: all nine of them stunning masterworks, all nine performed countless times. Be that as it may, there are conductors who can re-contextualize these symphonies in such a way that they sound completely new, as Ivan Fischer proved in 2013 and 2014 in his Beethoven Series with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, spread out over two seasons. This is a veritable journey of discovery through a familiar landscape.
Have you ever wondered what goes through a composer's mind during those magical weeks and months when a musical composition—something meant to become a listening experience—is being notated on paper? Have you tried to imagine the creative process that boils inside geniuses like Mozart, Beethoven, Dvorák, Strauss, Brahms, Mendelssohn, or Liszt? Or within any composer?
…I have 5 complete sets of the Beethoven Violin Sonatas, and I have derived as much pleasure from Stern/Istomin as from any of the others. Indeed, I think it is more profound than the much heralded Dumay/Pires collaboration, and it doesn't give up much in sound quality to that one, either. As with Stern's second recording of the Beethoven Concerto with Barenboim, Stern had much new to say about this composer in the later stage of his career.
Have you ever wondered what goes through a composer's mind during those magical weeks and months when a musical composition—something meant to become a listening experience—is being notated on paper? Have you tried to imagine the creative process that boils inside geniuses like Mozart, Beethoven, Dvorák, Strauss, Brahms, Mendelssohn, or Liszt? Or within any composer? Is it pure inspiration? Does a composer hear the music first, before even picking up a pen? Or does the music, in fact, actually begin on that blank sheet of staff paper? Most important, can lay listeners like us, untrained in the technicalities of music, be taught to open our ears to a composer's creative intentions?
…here Bernstein provides what may be the slowest recorded tempo of the first movement to date (perhaps it's worth it alone for that reason!?) – however the freshness and vitality that LB and the NYP display on the Fourth Symphony is nothing short of breathtaking!
It's pure Bernstein - it's fresh, it's youthful, it's bliss, it's ecstasy. This is one of the finest takes of Beethoven 4 I know of - which is probably Beethoven's most under-estimated symphony. Bernstein captures the exact character needed to sell this work.
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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