HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Philips) Ludwig van Beethoven – The 5 Piano Concerti (Brendel/Haitink)

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Oh friends, I’m experiencing at now a paradigm shift in my understanding of the LvB piano concerti, concerning the best interpreter, who ever recorded them. In the origin I had only the concerti with Pollini and (three of the five concerti) with Benedetti-Michelangeli and I was happy for many years. Both great pianists, both marvellous in their interpretations although a little different from each other. Then I heard Katchen and I was speechless… then Arrau, Rubinstein and – OMG – Kempff !!! I thought, never in life can another pianist reach the level of these five “gods”. Oh, how wrong I was! Thanks to Trottar and Jean-Luc I “discovered” in the last 3 years my love for Brendel, an artist who was well known to be, but I never estimated more than just a little – don’t ask me why. Two weeks ago I found out by accident that Brendel had recorded the concerti and I was like electrified. In such moments I don’t think twice or a second too long: seen and purchased was a single act. Please welcome the sixt “god” in the olymp of the LvB piano concerti interpreters.

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer: Alfred Brendel
Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Bernard Haitink
Vinyl (1975-77)
Number of discs: 5
Format: Flac
Label: Philips
DR-Analysis:
DR 14
Size: 3.8GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

I know, Brendel recorded the concerti a second and third time (with Levine and Rattle) and I have to hear them. Since then, these recordings with Haitink are for me the highest possible mile stone.

Compared to many other pianists, who use these concerti more or less for demonstration of their (excellent) skill, for the price of destroying some parts of piano score musical sense, Brendel leaves himself aside and makes sure that most of the notes are made singing, and his phrasing is truly excellent most of the time. His performances of the five concerti are not the total perfection, but by far the best from many many recordings I’ve been choosing from.

The performances are exactly what one would expect from established musicians of this calibre and experience. Both Brendel and Haitink are musicians of a thoughtful turn of mind so what they give is a thoughtful delivery of the concerto and also of the Choral Fantasia. Everything is kept in balance and perfectly phrased and nuanced. What may be missing for some listeners is an element of drama or spontaneous excitement. That would be to mis-judge both Brendel’s and Haitink’s natural response to any music making.

A really great surprise is the glowing freshness of the choral contribution. This especially applies to the women’s voices but the overall feeling is exactly those elements of spontaneous and youthful vigour not attempted in the concerto. This is without doubt the freshest and most sheerly joyful account of this sadly under-performed work that I have had the pleasure of hearing.

 

Tracklist

  Klavierkonzert Nr. 1 C-dur Op. 15  
A 1. Allegro Con Brio 17:11
B1 2. Largo 12:27
B2 3. Rondo (Allegro Scherzando) 8:45
  Klavierkonzert Nr. 2 B-dur Op. 19  
C1 1. Allegro Con Brio 14:07
C2 2. Adagio 9:54
C3 3. Rondo (Molto Allegro) 6:00
  Fantasie C-moll Op. 80 Für Klavier, Chor Und Orchester ‘Chorfantasie’  
D Adagio – Finale – Allegro 20:31
  Klavierkonzert Nr. 3 C-moll Op. 37  
E 1. Allegro Con Brio 17:05
F1 2. Largo 10:26
F2 3. Rondo (Allegro) 8:59
  Klavierkonzert Nr. 4 G-dur Op. 58  
G 1. Allegro Moderato 16:54
H1 2. Andante Con Moto
5:10
H2 3. Rondo (Vivace) 9:45
  Klavierkonzert Nr. 5 Es-dur Op. 73  
I 1. Allegro 20:52
J2 2. Adagio Un Poco Mosso
8:25
J3 3. Rondo (Allegro) 10:26

 

———————————————————————————————-
Analyzed folder: /96k LvB – The 5 Piano Concerti – Brendel, Haitink
———————————————————————————————-
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
———————————————————————————————-
DR13        -1.46 dB     -19.76 dB     A Klavierkonzert Nr. 1 C-dur Op. 15 – 1. Allegro Con Brio.aif
DR15        -2.67 dB     -23.60 dB     B1 Klavierkonzert Nr. 1 C-dur Op. 15 – 2. Largo.aif
DR13        -1.16 dB     -19.28 dB     B2 Klavierkonzert Nr. 1 C-dur Op. 15 – 3. Rondo (Allegro Scherzando).aif
DR14        -1.00 dB     -19.55 dB     C1 Klavierkonzert Nr. 2 B-dur Op. 19 – 1. Allegro Con Brio.aif
DR13        -3.17 dB     -21.72 dB     C2 Klavierkonzert Nr. 2 B-dur Op. 19 – 2. Adagio.aif
DR13        -1.40 dB     -19.07 dB     C3 Klavierkonzert Nr. 2 B-dur Op. 19 – 3. Rondo (Molto Allegro).aif
DR15        -1.12 dB     -22.47 dB     D Fantasie C-moll Op. 80 Fuer Klavier, Chor Und Orchester ‘Chorfantasie’.aif
DR13        -0.96 dB     -19.11 dB     E Klavierkonzert Nr. 3 C-moll Op. 37 – 1. Allegro Con Brio.aif
DR14        -4.41 dB     -23.89 dB     F1 Klavierkonzert Nr. 3 C-moll Op. 37 – 2. Largo.aif
DR12        -0.90 dB     -18.45 dB     F2 Klavierkonzert Nr. 3 C-moll Op. 37 – 3. Rondo (Allegro).aif
DR14        -1.40 dB     -20.86 dB     G Klavierkonzert Nr. 4 G-dur Op. 58 – 1. Allegro Moderato.aif
DR12        -5.77 dB     -25.45 dB     H1 Klavierkonzert Nr. 4 G-dur Op. 58 – 2. Andante Con Moto.aif
DR14        -0.38 dB     -19.58 dB     H2 Klavierkonzert Nr. 4 G-dur Op. 58 – 3. Rondo (Vivace).aif
DR13        -0.85 dB     -18.08 dB     I Klavierkonzert Nr. 5 Es-dur Op. 73 – 1. Allegro.aif
DR16        -6.36 dB     -27.44 dB     J1 Klavierkonzert Nr. 5 Es-dur Op. 73 – 2. Adagio Un Poco Mosso.aif
DR13        -0.91 dB     -19.07 dB     J2 Klavierkonzert Nr. 5 Es-dur Op. 73 – 3. Rondo (Allegro).aif
———————————————————————————————-
Number of files:    16
Official DR value:    DR14
==============================================================================================

Credits

  • Choir – London Philharmonic Choir (tracks: D)
  • Chorus Master – John Alldis
  • Composed By – Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Conductor [Orchestra] – Bernard Haitink
  • Liner Notes [German] – Robert Simpson
  • Orchestra – The London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Piano – Alfred Brendel
Ⓟ 1977 Philips. Made in Holland. Printed in The Netherlands.
Recorded November 1975, January 1976 and April 1977 in London.
Together with the 5x LP’s there is also a 4-page leaflet the size of the box.
The leaflet contains 3 pages of notes in German.

Ripping Info

Monitoring

  • Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Super light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

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16 thoughts on “HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Philips) Ludwig van Beethoven – The 5 Piano Concerti (Brendel/Haitink)

  1. Hallo Alf, a surprise, because this recording is extremely rare . I own the later recorded box (1983) with the Chicago Symphony under James Levine..I find the Levine more streamline so I will be ancient for your post. Trottar

  2. Thanks for these fine performances by Brendel, it must also be noted that Haitink is a fine accompanist who supports his pianist superbly.

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