Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Carlo Maria Giulini & Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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||Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73 "Emperor": I. Allegro||Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Vienna Symphony Orchestra & Carlo Maria Giulini||21:05||Album Only||View in iTunes|
||Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73 "Emperor": II. Adagio un poco mosso||Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Vienna Symphony Orchestra & Carlo Maria Giulini||9:09||$2.19||View in iTunes|
||Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73 "Emperor": III. Rondo (Allegro)||Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Vienna Symphony Orchestra & Carlo Maria Giulini||12:11||Album Only||View in iTunes|
Brilliant and idiosyncratic
From the first 30 seconds onwards, you are in the picture: this is going to be quite a performance! Michelangeli has his way with Beethoven - flashes of brilliance, marked gear changes, not one to let the temperature subside, once he gets going. It is not especially "Italianate"; and Giulini was at any rate more at home in the German repertoire than Italian. It is just a little idiosyncratic, a little wayward at times. One reason why this is important is repeated listening. That's what we have recordings for; but this is taken from a live broadcast, where it was undoubtedly very exciting. When you treat it as a recording (as you must, for that's what it is now), the mannerisms stand out from the general flow. In short this is not the kind of performance you would expect from Kempff, Arrau, Gilels or even Pollini. One quite unexpected boon comes as a result of Giulini's conducting. There are inner voices, mostly woodwind, that are usually buried in the weight of sound, but Giulini manages to bring them out so that you can actually hear them. Seeing that this is live, the precision of both soloist and orchestra are quite remarkable. And so, in spite of my reservations apropos idiosyncrasies, it is not a performance I would wish to do without. For in the end, this approach also brings a freshness with it that is very welcome indeed.
Born: 05 January 1920 in Brescia, Italy
Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s