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ClassicsOnline Home » BEETHOVEN, L. van: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 3 (Gilels, New Philharmonia Orchestra, Boult) (1967)
A wonderful older recording
This disc consists of Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3, as played by Emil Gilels in July 1967. Yes, you can hear that this was an analog recording – but the slight amount of tape hiss is not disturbing at all as soon as the music starts. The quality of the performance, though, really made this listener wish he could have been on-site back then with a digital tape recorder in-hand.
Mr. Gilels is well known for his fluid playing, and these two concertos are like silk underneath his fingers. Concerto No. 1 is captivating from the first movement on, with the orchestra in perfect balance with the soloist (kudos to the oboe player!). The 2nd movement has just the proper pacing to contrast beautifully with the playful 3rd movement’s off-to-the-races start. It is a delight all the way through.
Piano Concerto No. 3 is just as enjoyable as Piano Concerto No. 1, and the orchestra really sets the tone right out of the gate. And when the piano comes in, it matches the authoritative tone and gentility appropriately. The 2nd movement is introspective and beautiful from start to finish, and again the orchestra and soloist have an even partnership. And the 3rd movement is just joyful to listen to, filled with virtuosic runs up and down the keyboard that lead to playful interactions between the orchestra and soloist.
If you are the type of listener who doesn’t mind a non-all-digital recording, then pick up this disc. After each Concerto, the audience can be heard applauding loudly – and it is hard to resist the temptation to join right in. This is good stuff!more....
Gilels-Beethoven Pia Con 1&3
This recording of the Piano Concertos #1 and #3 of Beethoven has its origin in a series of concerts given by the famed Russian pianist, Emil Gilels in the summer of 1967 at London’s Royal Festival Hall. The series was devoted to all 5 Piano Concerti plus misc. orchestral works of the composer.
Sir Adrian Boult led the New Philharmonia Orchestra. The performances are lithe and confident in conception as well as execution. Dynamic shadings are meticulously worked out. The two Largo movements in particular profit from this attention to detail. Certainly, more robust, heavily accented renditions of these works (including other versions by Gilels) are to be found.
Nevertheless there is something very appealing and arresting about these thoughtful, patrician readings. It is fascinating to experience two major artists of the last century at the top of their game within a live, real time context. Sonics are well balanced and textures, transparent, a testament to ICA Classics’ extreme care in refurbishing the analog tape source. Audience noise is minimal and unobtrusive. Liner notes are well written and informative. Recommended to fans of important historical documents of topnotch music making.more....
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BEETHOVEN, L. van: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 3 (G...