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Beethoven: Complete Piano Concertos / Yefim Bronfman, piano; Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra; Zinman

Album Summary

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Concerto for Piano no 1 in C major, Op. 15
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 19
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Concerto for Piano no 3 in C minor, Op. 37
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Concerto for Piano no 4 in G major, Op. 58
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Concerto for Piano no 5 "Emperor"
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Fantasia in C minor, Op. 80 "Choral Fantasy"
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, cantata for chorus & orchestra, Op. 112
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

A virtuoso pianist of exceptional stature, Beethoven took Vienna by storm upon his arrival in the Austrian capital, eliciting such comments as 'He isn't a man, he's the devil himself!' by contemporary rivals. His expressiveness of playing was in fact responsible for ushering in a new era of the piano concerto, his eccentricity of ideas and hitherto unprecedented 'violence' of key changes creating a music that no longer found fulfillment merely in terms of beauty and originality, but which went the extra mile in now expressing a message. The five numbered piano concertos were written over a period of two decades, roughly between 1790 and 1809. 'With every new work,' comments conductor David Zinman, 'Beethoven discovered a new world [... ] They are entirely independent worlds that place different demands on performers.' Beethoven's piano concertos have been committed to disc by some of the greatest names in music history, and as such any new recording is subject to the highest scrutiny. Yefim Bronfman, here in performances dating back to 2004 and 2005, rises to the challenge admirably, delivering consummate interpretations that combine commanding technique with exceptional lyrical skill. Of the 'Emperor' Concerto, Gramophone described the Soviet-born Israeli-American pianist's touch as 'light, precise though never brittle [... ], always phrasing elegantly and dipping his tone whenever important instrumental lines need to be heard', also commenting on how 'he, Zinman and the Tonhalle Orchestra form a warmly responsive partnership'. Voices are introduced into the equation with the Fantasia for piano, chorus and orchestra - a work whose variation figures foreshadow those of the much better known Ninth Symphony - before a full- fledged transition into the choral repertoire, the compilation ending with the cantata Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage.

BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2014
Bronfman's muscular yet subtle style matches the heroic requirements of these works, but what's piquant is the addition of the Choral Fantasia and the (purely choral) Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt.

MusicWeb International, 2nd December 2014
This is one of the easiest choices in the catalogue. Yefim Bronfman and David Zinman teamed up just ten years ago to deliver an extraordinary Beethoven concerto cycle, characterized by fleet tempos, freshness and an utter lack of self-aggrandizement.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Tonhalle Zürich, Switzerland (2004-2005).



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Works Details

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Concerto for Piano no 1 in C major, Op. 15
  • Performer: Yefim Bronfman (Piano)
  • Conductor: David Zinman
  • Ensemble: Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra
  • Running Time: 37 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1798

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 19
  • Performer: Yefim Bronfman (Piano)
  • Conductor: David Zinman
  • Running Time: 29 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1788-1798

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Concerto for Piano no 3 in C minor, Op. 37
  • Performer: Yefim Bronfman (Piano)
  • Conductor: David Zinman
  • Notes: Tonhalle Zürich, Switzerland (09/21/2004-09/22/2004)
  • Running Time: 34 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1800-1803

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Concerto for Piano no 4 in G major, Op. 58
  • Performer: Yefim Bronfman (Piano)
  • Conductor: David Zinman
  • Notes: Tonhalle Zürich, Switzerland (09/22/2004-09/23/2004)
  • Running Time: 32 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1805-1806

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Concerto for Piano no 5 "Emperor"
  • Performer: Yefim Bronfman (Piano)
  • Conductor: David Zinman
  • Notes: Tonhalle Zürich, Switzerland (05/02/2005-05/04/2005)
  • Running Time: 37 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1809

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Fantasia in C minor, Op. 80 "Choral Fantasy"
  • Performers: Yefim Bronfman (Piano); Regula Konrad; Lisa Larsson (Soprano); Jürgen Orelly; Paolo Vignoli (Tenor); Tobey Wilson
  • Conductor: David Zinman
  • Notes: Tonhalle Zürich, Switzerland (05/02/2005-05/04/2005)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1808

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, cantata for chorus & orchestra, Op. 112
  • Performer: Yefim Bronfman (Piano)
  • Conductor: David Zinman
  • Notes: Tonhalle Zürich, Switzerland (05/02/2005-05/04/2005)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1814-1815