Beethoven: The Five Piano Concertos

Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concertos No. 1-5
[three compact discs]
Mikhail Pletnev, piano
Christian Gansch, conductor
The Beethoven Project
DG 477 7475
Purchase via RNO

Reviews

Musical Criticism

[These recordings] display both Pletnev's astonishing technique and incredible musical imagination at every turn.... Pletnev often plays with a Haydnesque lightness and humour that allows us to hear all the detail elsewhere. It's still a performance that's full of surprises as are his versions of the other concertos: Pletnev is light and skittish when one might expect him to be strong and robust... or heavy-handed when one would expect delicacy.... So although Pletnev infuriates in places, he is never dull. Under Christian Gansch the Russian National Orchestra play like a chamber orchestra, with delicacy and lyricism and their mellow wind section is balanced noticeably more sympathetically.... Pletnev seems to be in a category of his own and, love it or loathe it, I feel anyone interested in these works should hear him.  

The Observer

Recorded live at the 2006 Beethovenfest, the Russian National Orchestra shows the same dark fire as in the recent symphony recordings and Pletnev dazzles, delights and — most important — convinces totally.

What They’re Saying

"To present American and Russian musicians performing and teaching together at Festival Napa Valley...is precisely the kind of effort that sustains vital cultural links...at a critical time for both societies. [This] resonates with the public [and] is meaningful for the musician participants...Cultural diplomacy and music offer alternatives to contention and sustain important linkages between our societies for the long run...Now more than ever we need viable citizen-to-citizen points of contact and dialogue."

James F. Collins (Ambassador Ret.)

Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace