Kristian Bezuidenhout – Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 5 “Emperor” (2020) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Kristian Bezuidenhout – Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 5 “Emperor” (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:03:24 minutes | 1,07 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © harmonia mundi

Beethoven’s five piano concertos relate, in a sense, part of the composers life: some twenty years during which a young musician from Bonn made several revised versions of the first concerto he wrote (a springboard to Viennese success that ended up being called no.2), before becoming the familiar Emperor of music embodied by the brilliant inspiration of no.5. Two hundred and fifty years after his birth, it is with these two extremes that Kristian Bezuidenhout, Pablo Heras-Casado and the Freiburger Barockorchester have chosen to start an exciting period-instrument trilogy of the concertos that bids fair to be a landmark!

Many of us may have set goals for the new year, but harmonia mundi set theirs particularly high. The independent record label intends on killing two birds with one stone by launching an extensive Beethoven edition that spans from 2020 (one hundred and fifty years since his birth) to 2027 (the bicentenary of his death), in a series of new recordings by new musicians under the label. For years to come, this non-exhaustive edition will be a reflection of the interpretative trends from the 21st century. This first volume of the Complete Piano Concertos on period instruments (there will be another on modern instruments) brings together the two extremes of Beethoven’s repertoire, namely Concertos No. 2 and No. 5, the former of which was composed first.

Kristian Bezuidenhout’s exceptional musicality renders the dispute over instrument manufacturing seemingly artificial and fruitless, as he is at ease playing both early and modern pianos. After an inspired performance of Mozart’s complete Sonatas, we follow him as he journeys through the Beethoven Concertos, working closely with the Freiburg Barockorchester ensemble, for whom Bezuidenhout and Gottfried von der Goltz have been in charge of artistic direction since 2017-2018. This may not be a ground-breaking endeavour but what sets it apart is the meticulous attention to detail from Kristian Bezuidenhout and conductor Pablo Heras-Casado with regards to articulations and dynamics. The same can also be said for their choice of cadenzas, which the pianist often reinterprets using the same instrument for the complete work, resulting in a modern rendition played on a Viennese Conrad Graf piano dating from 1824. Confronted with musical practices from the end of the 18th century, the music of young Beethoven comes alive as never before. – François Hudry

01. Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73, ‘Emperor’: I. Allegro (19:41)
02. Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73, ‘Emperor’: II. Adagio un poco mosso (6:35)
03. Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73, ‘Emperor’: III. Rondo. Allegro (10:13)
04. Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 19: I. Allegro con brio (13:38)
05. Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 19: II. Adagio (7:34)
06. Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 19: III. Rondo. Molto allegro (5:48)