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Mitsuko Uchida - Beethoven : Piano Concertos 1-5

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Beethoven : Piano Concertos 1-5

Mitsuko Uchida - Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle

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Recorded over the course of four concerts in Berlin in 2010, Sir Simon Rattle and “his” Berlin Philharmoniker successfully punctuate their complete collection of symphonies with these five concertos. While these were recorded before the symphonies, you can identify a distinct chamber music-like tonality, with an orchestra whose dimensions have been clearly reduced compared to the traditional size of the renowned Berlin ensemble. This integral work is first and foremost an orchestral delight thanks to the lyricism of the wind section and the silky characteristics of the strings. Far from being simply a support act to the soloist, the Japanese pianist Mitsuko Uchida, the orchestra instead seems to lead the operation with a speedy rhythm and an inimitable sense of musical rhetoric. Mitsuko Uchida almost appears to play modestly, never wanting to hog the spotlight, in a constant dialogue with the conductor.

From the bonhomie of the first two concertos through to the Fifth (wrongly named the Emperor) which paved the way for the more romantic concertos, via the Fourth with its sublime Andante con moto which raises some metaphysical questions, this intimate performance cements this Beethovenian collection in its rightful era, lest we forget that these concertos were written in the first decade of the nineteenth century, in the midst of a triumphant Viennese classicism at a time when Joseph Haydn was writing his final few masterpieces and Napoleon’s Grande Armée was bombarding Vienna. With such a sonic perspective and a sound recording which never lets the piano become intrusive, these concertos which are often performed like works written fifty years afterwards, strike an instrumental balance and recover their true musical essence, which had slowly been beginning to disappear. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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Beethoven : Piano Concertos 1-5

Mitsuko Uchida

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Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

1
I. Allegro con brio
Berliner Philharmoniker
00:17:37

Mitsuko Uchida, Piano - Berliner Philharmoniker - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH 2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH

2
II. Largo
Berliner Philharmoniker
00:11:22

Mitsuko Uchida, Piano - Berliner Philharmoniker - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH 2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH

3
III. Rondo. Allegro
Berliner Philharmoniker
00:08:52

Mitsuko Uchida, Piano - Berliner Philharmoniker - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH 2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH

Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 19 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

4
I. Allegro con brio
Berliner Philharmoniker
00:14:49

Mitsuko Uchida, Piano - Berliner Philharmoniker - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH 2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH

5
II. Adagio
Berliner Philharmoniker
00:09:17

Mitsuko Uchida, Piano - Berliner Philharmoniker - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH 2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH

6
III. Rondo. Molto allegro
Berliner Philharmoniker
00:06:18

Mitsuko Uchida, Piano - Berliner Philharmoniker - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH 2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH

DISC 2

Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

1
I. Allegro con brio
Berliner Philharmoniker
00:17:47

Mitsuko Uchida, Piano - Berliner Philharmoniker - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH 2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH

2
II. Largo
Berliner Philharmoniker
00:10:36

Mitsuko Uchida, Piano - Berliner Philharmoniker - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH 2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH

3
III. Rondo. Allegro – Presto
Berliner Philharmoniker
00:09:18

Mitsuko Uchida, Piano - Berliner Philharmoniker - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH 2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH

Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

4
I. Allegro moderato
Berliner Philharmoniker
00:20:08

Mitsuko Uchida, Piano - Berliner Philharmoniker - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH 2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH

5
II. Andante con moto
Berliner Philharmoniker
00:05:28

Mitsuko Uchida, Piano - Berliner Philharmoniker - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH 2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH

6
III. Rondo. Vivace – Presto
Berliner Philharmoniker
00:10:10

Mitsuko Uchida, Piano - Berliner Philharmoniker - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH 2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH

DISC 3

Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

1
I. Allegro
Berliner Philharmoniker
00:21:04

Mitsuko Uchida, Piano - Berliner Philharmoniker - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH 2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH

2
II. Adagio un poco mosso
Berliner Philharmoniker
00:08:23

Mitsuko Uchida, Piano - Berliner Philharmoniker - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH 2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH

3
III. Rondo. Allegro, ma non troppo
Berliner Philharmoniker
00:10:14

Mitsuko Uchida, Piano - Berliner Philharmoniker - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH 2018 Berlin Phil Media GmbH

Album Description

Recorded over the course of four concerts in Berlin in 2010, Sir Simon Rattle and “his” Berlin Philharmoniker successfully punctuate their complete collection of symphonies with these five concertos. While these were recorded before the symphonies, you can identify a distinct chamber music-like tonality, with an orchestra whose dimensions have been clearly reduced compared to the traditional size of the renowned Berlin ensemble. This integral work is first and foremost an orchestral delight thanks to the lyricism of the wind section and the silky characteristics of the strings. Far from being simply a support act to the soloist, the Japanese pianist Mitsuko Uchida, the orchestra instead seems to lead the operation with a speedy rhythm and an inimitable sense of musical rhetoric. Mitsuko Uchida almost appears to play modestly, never wanting to hog the spotlight, in a constant dialogue with the conductor.

From the bonhomie of the first two concertos through to the Fifth (wrongly named the Emperor) which paved the way for the more romantic concertos, via the Fourth with its sublime Andante con moto which raises some metaphysical questions, this intimate performance cements this Beethovenian collection in its rightful era, lest we forget that these concertos were written in the first decade of the nineteenth century, in the midst of a triumphant Viennese classicism at a time when Joseph Haydn was writing his final few masterpieces and Napoleon’s Grande Armée was bombarding Vienna. With such a sonic perspective and a sound recording which never lets the piano become intrusive, these concertos which are often performed like works written fifty years afterwards, strike an instrumental balance and recover their true musical essence, which had slowly been beginning to disappear. © François Hudry/Qobuz

Details of original recording : Recorded live 4,10,14,20 February 2010, Berlin Philharmonie

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