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Discussion: Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5, Choral Fantasia - Brautigam, Parrott

Posts: 24
Page: 1 2 3 next

Post by srl1 August 9, 2010 (1 of 24)
I received this wonderful disc last Friday. I'm not really knowledgeable enough to write a complete review. I'll leave that to someone else. However, I believe this disc is one of those for which we buy SACDs. The sonics are delightful: close, but not too close; detailed yet atmospheric. The piano is quite clear and balanced. In the Choral Fantasy, the voices are beautiful.

I am fond of the Choral Fantasy. It's one of my favorite Beethoven pieces. This reading is not heaven-storming, but it is filled with drama and humor. It's dynamic and clean. It feels like the performers are having a lot of fun.

I've never really found a totally satisfying recording of the 5th Piano Concerto. I find most to be overblown at one end of the performance spectrum or way too HIP at the other end. For example, my favorite box set of the concertos is the one with Harnoncourt and Aimard, but to me the 5th is the weakest. Anyway, this one takes a different tack. In the liner notes, Brautigam talks about not treating the concerto as a struggle between the soloist and the orchestra, but more like a supportive dialog (I don't have the notes in front of me so I can't give the exact quote). The performance itself is very clean and detailed with good momentum. The line never seems to sag, and the tempos keep things interesting without being breathless.

All-in-all, a great disc. It's desert island material along with being a great demo disc for when friends come over and wonder why you have all that equipment just to play music.

Post by Windsurfer August 9, 2010 (2 of 24)
Is this a piano or a forte piano?

Post by Daland August 9, 2010 (3 of 24)
Windsurfer said:

Is this a piano or a forte piano?

Bräutigam uses a grand piano (Steinway) for all the Beethoven concertos.

The results are very impressive indeed. I am very grateful that the Choral Fantasia was included.

Post by tream August 9, 2010 (4 of 24)
Daland said:

Bräutigam uses a grand piano (Steinway) for all the Beethoven concertos.

The results are very impressive indeed. I am very grateful that the Choral Fantasia was included.

This has been a consistently good series of recordings, and includes a number Beethoven's works which are not always included, such as the WoO 4 and Beethoven's own transcription of his violin concerto. I haven't heard the Emperor yet, but can recommend highly the earlier recordings.

Post by Windsurfer August 9, 2010 (5 of 24)
Thanks guys, I'm now on board for this. (Really dislike tinkly little forte pianos.)

Post by jdaniel August 9, 2010 (6 of 24)
Ditto on the Choral Fantasia, just a wonderful, seemingly effortlessly written piece inspired from beginning to end. Look forward to this issue.

Post by armenian August 9, 2010 (7 of 24)
Its worth having just for the Choral Fantasia, and of course the Steinway, I hate forte piano.

Vahe

Post by bissie August 9, 2010 (8 of 24)
armenian said:

Its worth having just for the Choral Fantasia, and of course the Steinway, I hate forte piano.

Vahe

Good thing Beethoven didn't.

Robert

Post by tream August 9, 2010 (9 of 24)
armenian said:

Its worth having just for the Choral Fantasia, and of course the Steinway, I hate forte piano.

Vahe

While I am not crazy about fortepiano, the Brautigam Beethoven sonata series is really different - at times you don't realize what you are listening to. Try one of the volumes and see what you think - the fortepianos used have real guts.

Post by armenian August 10, 2010 (10 of 24)
bissie said:

Good thing Beethoven didn't.

Perhaps he had no choice.

Vahe

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