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  PentaTone Classics -
  PTC 5186 101
  Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 4 - Kovacevich/Davis
  Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat Op. 19, Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Op. 58

Stephen Kovacevich (piano)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Colin Davis (conductor)
Track listing:
  Total time: 63:24
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:
  Recorded in London (Wembley), Brent Town Hall - December 1974

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Reviews: 5 show all

Review by madisonears October 12, 2003 (7 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
My first Pentatone disc, and I'm happy to report it's a winner in every respect. Sound is open, three dimensional and transparent, with smooth string tones and the customary Philips weight to the bottom end. The piano is nearly perfect, with just the right balance between percussiveness and sonority, at the proper proportion to the orchestra. This is nearly the finest piano tone I have heard yet on any SACD, and really shows up some DSD recordings which feature metallic ringing overtones.

Performance is excellent, as well. Neither prissy nor overwrought, it seems to be exactly between classical and romantic in nature, which is historically appropriate. One can hear Mozart's influenece in the earlier concerto, yet hear Beethoven's powerful creativity emerging with full force in the later one.

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Review by sgb June 1, 2003 (7 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This particular recording has been a favorite of mine since its inital release nearly thirty years ago. Stephen Kovacevich (or Bishop-Kovacevich. if you prefer) appeals as one of those pianists whose playing is rather forthright and precise, giving us here a rather lyrical presentation of the concerti full of grace and good demeanor. A little on the light side compared to those who pound out their Beethovens some would think.

Colin Davis is the consummate accompanist as conductor here as he has been on so many of the Davis/Kovacevich collaborations. A first-rate pianist deserves a first-rate conductor, after all, and the BBC Symphony give their all here to the pair to make this a class act through and through and start to finish.

Sound quality is better on this new Pentatone release than in any of the various releases on vinyl and CD I've heard in the past. I have not yet listened to this in its multi-channel, but the stereo segment is so lifelike, I may not ever make the effort to find an M-C player to hear it. Strongly recommended to those who prefer their Beethoven a little understated, and demand the best sound possible.

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Review by beardawgs October 4, 2003 (6 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I could only repeat all the praise about the performers, it is a mach made in heaven for all who like their Beethoven. Just a short addition on a recording quality, which is like with every pentatone re-issue that Iíve heard exceptional!!!! Anyone having any doubts about multichannel should listen to these original quadraphonic recordings. It is full of life and excitement just like in the concert hall. Back channels are providing the Ďairí and the recording is transparent and real, itís so easy to imagine that one is sitting in front of the performers.

I only have a slight reservation about the piano sound on this SACD. The recording underlines its percussive quality, and occasionally the sound has uncomfortable metallic overtone. The orchestraís sound is full and majestic, and the forte passages are voluminous as Iíve never heard them before (apart from the live performance, of course). We sat mesmerised over and over again listening to this brilliant recording in surround.

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Works: 2  

Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat, Op. 19
Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58