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Concertos Concertos: list of recordings Sonatas Complete Piano Sonatas Diabelli Period instruments Rare Works

This section is not intended to be a review of existing CDs. Good critics have done this already, and are experts on the subject. I just wish to draw your attention to particular works and interpretations.
Title An exceptional collection of the concertos for piano of Beethoven

This realisation by Lorcom (therefore there is also an edition available on DVD) has been recognised as exceptional by both critics and the public alike.

Our opinion: here is great Beethoven!

The performance is strong and sensitive, bewitching. In addition, François-Réné Duchâble treats us to a cadenza of his own composition.

The three CDs and one DVD are gathered in a superb box set. The booklet presents the five concertos for piano and orchestra as well as the performers. Bravo!

An exceptional collection of the concertos for piano of Beethoven
François-René Duchâble, Piano
Ensemble Orchestral de Paris
directed by John Nelson
Lorcom - 2003

Title The concerto for piano no. 4, opus 58, for piano and string quintet

This version of the fourth piano concerto, adapted for piano and string quintet, was rediscovered and completed by Hans-Werner Küthen.

The arrangement of the piano part is in Beethoven's hand and it was realised by Prince Lobkowitz. In effect, it was not possible for a music devotee of the time to pay for the services of a full orchestra. Also, many composers of the time adapted their works for a much reduced ensemble: harmonie (wind group), quintet or quartet.

Without rejecting the symphonic version, this interpretation is remarkable for its delicacy and finesse. A little jewel. The cd also includes a transcription for trio of the second symphony of Beethoven, realised by the composer himself.

Cd Beethoven

Robert Levin, pianoforte
and musicians from the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
Archiv Produktion 1999
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Title The 4th and 5th Concerti for piano with period orchestra

We are, with this CD, in the presence of an orchestra few in number, of a piano from the beginning of the 1800s, and performers who guide us to a listening full of nuance and skillful contrasts.

The Fourth concerto for piano and orchestra is performed in a magisterial manner, the orchestra and piano harmonize wonderfully. The colours are brilliant and the texture of the work is executed in a majestic manner.

One would think of the Fifth concerto as more modern, and less well suited to a small formation. This is not the case. The Adagio is played with a piercing inspiration and purity. Then the Rondo, where the resonant sound is often overdone, the piano avoids all the traps related to the weakness of its sound.

If the first hearing is surprising, so far as we are used to thunderous repeats, a second hearing allows us to experience, the life of the concerto fully.

I warmly recommend this CD to people who are ordinarily a little sensitive to performances on period instruments, listen to this disc: it is a little jewel!
We hope the other concertos follow.

CD Beethoven

Piano: Artur Schoonderwoerd
Orchestra: Cristofori

Alpha - 2004

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Title The Concertos for piano on period instruments

Christopher Hogwood recaptures the scores of Beethoven and the editions which follow. The report is clear: the modifications are numerous, often in order to take into consideration the evolution of the instruments.

It is a return to the source which we propose the conductor and his orchestra in a strong and musical version.

Cd Beethoven
Steven Lubin, pianoforte
and The Academy of Ancient Music directed by Christopher Hogwood
Oiseau Lyre - 1994
Cd Beethoven
Jos van Immerseel, pianoforte
and the Tafelmusik
directed by Bruno Weil
Sony 1995


With cadenzas by Jos van Immerseel according to the capabilities of the instruments of the time (on the left)...


The cds also include the Choral Fantasy, opus 80, with two improvised introductions by Robert Levin, and the Rondo WoO 6 (on the right)...

Cd Beethoven
Robert Levin, pianoforte
and the Orchestre Romantique et Révolutionnaire directed by John Eliot Gardiner
Archiv 1996
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Title Works for piano and orchestra

Under the name "The Mysteries of Beethoven", the cd gathers together many works for piano and orchestra:

- Concerto for violin and piano opus 61 adapted for piano;

- Rondo in B flat major, WoO 6 (original finale for the concerto for piano no. 2, opus 19);

- Allegro of a concerto for piano in D major, WoO Anhang 7 (Hess Anhang 6).

The pianist is Felicja Blumental.

Cd Beethoven
The Beethoven Mysteries
Brana Recors - 2003
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Title The Unfinished 'Sixth' Concerto for Piano, Hess 15 - Dances for orchestra

This CD contains the unfinished concerto for piano and orchestra of 1815 and the rare dances in their orchestral version:

  • Unfinished concerto for piano and orchestra, Hess 15, world premier; the rough draught of the concerto was made in 1815 by Beethoven, who composed 182 bars; the score of the first movement was finalised by Nicholas Cook and Kelina Kwan;
  • Gratulationsmenuett, WoO 3;
  • Mödlinger Tänze, WoO 17;
  • Musik zu einem Ritterballet, WoO 1.

A success equal to our hopes. Bravo!

CD Beethoven
Inedita - Beethoven Rareties Vol. 4
Orchestra Sinfonica di Sassari
Roberto Diem Tigani
Piano: Maurizio Paciariello

Title The rondo for piano and orchestra WoO 6, new version and the Overture of Macbeth

Inedita continue with success their editions of rare works of Beethoven. The third volume offers us a version of the rondo for piano and orchestra WoO 6, reconstructed by Roberto Diem Tigani. The booklet, as always not in French, is very well documented.

Also on the CD, the concerto for piano and orchestra opus 61 (after the concerto for violin, adaptation of Beethoven and sometimes called the 6th piano concerto), and the overture to Macbeth, Biamonti 454, reconstructed from the sketches by William Holsbergen. The last work is a world premier.

Do you love Beethoven? Then this CD is for you!

CD Beethoven
Inedita - Beethoven Rareties Vol. 3
Orchestra Sinfonica di Sassari
Roberto Diem Tigani
Piano: Maurizio Paciariello

Title The concerto for piano WoO 4, new version

Inedita specialise in editions of rare works. The second volume of the works by Ludwig van Beethoven include a version of the concertos for piano WoO 4, reconstructed by Roberto Diem Tigani. The book explains the choices made and why this new reconstruction was necessary.

Also on the CD, the complete Romances for Violin and orchestra: opus 40 and opus 50, but also the Romance cantabile Hess 13 for Piano, Flute, Bassoon and orchestra..

Finally, you rediscover the Contredanses for orchestra, WoO 14.

A little gem, indispensable in your CD collection.

Cd Beethoven
Inedita - Beethoven Rareties Vol. 2
Orchestra Sinfonica di Sassari
Roberto Diem Tigani
Piano: Maurizio Paciariello
Violin: Marco Rogliano

Title Piano concerto WoO 4

Cd Beethoven
Martin Galling, piano
Berlin Symphony Orchestra
directed by C. A. Bünte
The Young Beethoven - Vox 1992

The concerto WoO 4 in E flat major is dated 1784. Beethoven was then fourteen years old.

The score of the piano concerto which was discovered did not comprise of a part for piano, with some orchestral indications.

It has meanwhile been reconstructed by Willy Hess, and it is this version which we hear on the cd.

Also on the cd is a concerto in one movement (Allegro in D major - WoO Anhang 7- Hess Anhang 6) of doubtful origins and sometimes attributed to Beethoven…

Title Le concerto pour piano d'après le concerto pour violon opus 61

The first work of this triple CD is the adaptation of the violin concerto for piano, realised by Beethoven and dedicated to Julia von Breuning, wife of Stephan von Breuning, a long term friend.

Amadeus Webersinke is the pianist, and Kurt Massur conducts the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra…

Cd Beethoven
Der Unbekannte Beethoven Vol. I
Berlin Classics - 1995
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