Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Maurizio Pollini – Beethoven’s Piano Concerto G Major

There are dozens of great renditions of every one from Beethoven’s cycle of five piano concertos. This is natural consequence of qualities inserted to this traditional formal construction by the last of the three greatest composers of classical Vienna school. Due to the extraordinary economy of resources and an unprecedented wealth of musical content, all five piano concertos are groundbreaking creations. Every one of his concerti as well as any work in other form is different and in its individual way full of significant features. It’s worth to notice, Beethoven’s music is always consistent on formal level, but still most of references point directly to emotional spheres of musical meaning.
Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 G Major op. 58 admittedly is one of very best piano concertos in the whole history of this form. The outward appearance of this concert is typical for its time – three part concerto construction with tonal change in middle movement (E minor in Andante as relative key to G major of first and last movements) and a Beethovenian usual cast of symphonic orchestra (flute, double winds, dual horns and trumpets, timpani and strings) – it looks like it was common work of late Classical Era. Piano introduction opening Allegro moderato, enchanting impression in Andante con moto and lively rhythmic Rondo, all this makes Concerto No. 4 the major effect of creative impulse. This is common characteristics of Beethoven’s oeuvres and maybe this is the reason for great respect which surrounds his music.

Pollini and Böhm in Beethoven's Piano Concerti (Eterna 1982)

Every record collector has personal choice of almost any great musical works best renditions. There is the real crowd on the shelf with excellent recordings of Beethoven’s piano concertos. But still it is hard to omit among them the Deutsche Grammophon series of LPs featuring Maurizio Pollini along with the Wiener Philharmoniker conducted by Karl Böhm. This collection of three records included only three of five Beethoven piano concertos – 3rd, 4th and 5th – which are definitely more essential and more appreciated by the public than first two. This 1976 DGG edition was awarded by music lovers with the Grand prix des discophiles. In 1982 series of records has been released as a oficial license edition by Eterna company in GDR, and than became widely recognized in Eastern Europe.
Recording Concerto No. 4, Maurizio Pollini gave great performance both on technical and on esthetic level. His piano sounds firmly and stylish, tempi are based on phrases formed the way as set by Beethoven. Such prudent approach along with original composer’s cadenzas makes this interpretation absolute perfect picture of this work. Orchestra of Viennese Philharmonic sounds deep in dynamics and perfectly in articulation. This recording is founded upon qualities giving Piano Concerto No. 4 G Major op. 58 mark of one of the best symphonic works and overall form of piano concerto the parallel position to Beethoven’s symphonies.

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