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van Beethoven

(1770 - 1827)

„The Consecration of the House“
Piano Concerto No. 4
32 Variatios in c-minor
WoO 80

Lauma Skride, Piano
Brandenburger Symphoniker
Peter Gülke, conductor

MDG 901 2216-6 (Hybrid-SACD)

Price: 21,99 €


Summit meeting
The Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra took advantage of the restrictive time without an audience and an outstanding soloist for a new production with an exquisite Beethoven recital: the overture "The Consecration of the House" is followed by the 4th Piano Concerto with a once
again fantastic Lauma Skride, who also contributes to the listening pleasure with the rarely heard Variations in C minor WoO 80. As a bonus, the second CD contains an intellectual and linguistic highlight: Peter Gülke and Alfred Brendel discuss Schubert, Beethoven and the art of interpretation.

Special moment
The beginning of the Piano Concerto No. 4 is unique: instead of a showy and determined start, Beethoven begins with a downright flippant prelude; piano and orchestra are far apart, find each other only with difficulty, and the composer completely denies the soloist essential parts of the thematic material. Lauma Skride and the Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra celebrate the
autobiographical loneliness of the deafened virtuoso, which takes on desperate forms in the second movement, in a touching way - even the finale's gutwrenching moments are not free of the mood of the beginning.

Beethoven based the C minor Variations on an extremely unwieldy theme. And he treats it with extreme rigour; the relentlessness with which he sticks to the formal structure of the theme as well as to the fundamental tone is very reminiscent of a passacaglia. Only at the very end does the composer free himself from the corset, before the work fades away in pianissimo.


On the encore CD, Gülke reads in german language from the volume of conversations he published together with Brendel at Bärenreiter and Metzler. Numerous exquisite sound samples illustrate the thoughts of the two intellectual giants; two enigmatically surreal poems by Brendel, recited by the master himself, round off the programme of this edition, which is exceptional in every respect, in the most enjoyable way.

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