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Beethoven: Piano Concerto no 5 / Michelangeli, Giulini

Album Summary

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Concerto for Piano no 5 "Emperor"
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
There has, over the years, been mixed reactions to Michelangeli's Beethoven. He was a most perplexing artist, perplexing because he liked to keep his musical personality well hidden - or at any rate mysterious - behind the armour-plated magnificence of his playing; disconcerting too because it's hard to arrive at a reasoned assessment of readings of classical music by someone who evidently isn't a man of balance. To interpret texts of the classical masters in a way which will give them the most vivid life doesn't seem to be his principal concern. There could be an intellectual froideur about his playing of Beethoven which verges on the disdainful and which was sometimes more than off-putting.

Not here though. This performance was recorded at a public performance in the Musikverein.

He drives the opening flourishes hard, and thereafter responds keenly to Giulini's exposition, grand but always moving forward, matching it with a purpose that seems to derive from just that long-range musical thinking which is so often missing in his accounts of the other concertos. There's spaciousness, and time for everything, and always that rock-like strength of rhythm. The detailing could hardly be bettered but isn't allowed to deflect attention from our perception of the form. The security of the technique is enough to make most other pianists attempting an Olympian view of the concerto seem clumsy; but it doesn't draw attention to itself. Since the depth of his sonority is perfectly matched to the orchestra's, it makes for some especially exciting listening in the finale. Great playing by a great pianist.


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Works Details

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Concerto for Piano no 5 "Emperor"
  • Performer: Arturo Michelangeli (Piano)
  • Conductor: Carlo Giulini
  • Ensemble: Vienna Symphony Orchestra
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1809
  • Studio/Live: Studio