Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli's classic recordings of the Ravel G major and Rachmaninov G minor concertos have never been out of the catalog since they first appeared more than 40 years ago. Surface and style are one in this music, and the Italian pianist remains unsurpassed for his icy precision and micro-detailing. He brings pinpointed elan to Rachmaninov's sizzling cross-rhythms in the Fourth Concerto's Allegro Vivace movement, as well as laser-like concentration to the tartly lush Largo. Few have matched Michelangeli's nuance and color in the Ravel concerto, and his seamless dispatch of Ravel's "singing sword" effect in the opening movement belies the notion that you can't bend notes on a piano.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique perform the world's most iconic piece of classical music, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Bringing out all the revolutionary fervour that Gardiner believes underpins the work and performing on period instruments of Beethoven's day, this performance brings us an authentic re-imagination of the sounds Beethoven's original audiences would have heard. Shot on location in St John's Smith Square, the performance looks and sounds stunning. Ahead of the performance, Gardiner and the principals of the orchestra discuss the issues in trying to breathe new life into such a famous piece and how their period instruments transform the symphony's sound.
Ian Hislop and John Eliot Gardiner reveal the story behind Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Described as the 'greatest 'great' piece ever written,' its opening notes are among the most recognisable in history. But no one really knows what Beethoven was trying to express with this piece. The traditional wisdom is that he is railing against fate and his deafness. But John Eliot believes the music expresses Beethoven's belief in the French Revolution. This is turbulent music from a turbulent man living in a turbulent age. John Eliot and Ian Hislop bring to life the exciting and dangerous times that shaped Beethoven personally and creatively.
Released to mark the 20th anniversary of Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli’s death in 1995, this 14-CD collection gathers recordings made by the extraordinary Italian pianist between 1939 and 1975 and includes previously unreleased material from 1972 (the three movements from Schumann’s Faschingsschwank aus Wien). Spanning the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, the repertoire encompasses works by all the composers who defined Michelangeli’s art.
In his 16 quartets for two violins, viola, and cello, Beethoven created a Mount Everest for string players and some of the most sublime, unforgettable music ever written. Continuing to astound listeners after 200 years, these glorious quartets give voice to the innermost landscape of the human heart and spirit. They stand, like Michelangelo's statues or the plays of Shakespeare, at the pinnacle of Western art.
The first truly comprehensive feature length cinema documentary ever made about Beethoven. With over 60 live performances.
Documentary following concert pianist Leif Ove Andsnes as he attempts, in a series of worldwide performances, to interpret one of the greatest sets of works for piano ever written - Beethoven's five piano concertos. However, the film is more than a portrait of a famous musician on tour - it is an exploration into Ludwig van Beethoven's life as revealed by these five masterworks. The relationship between the composer and his world is mirrored by the relationship between the pianist and orchestra in these concertos. Andsnes offers rare insights into the mind of a world-class pianist and access to his personal and professional life. Against the background of Leif Ove playing these pieces, we also peel back the myths of Beethoven's life - from prodigious talent in Vienna to greatest composer alive by the time he wrote the fifth concerto.
A revolutionary man living in a revolutionary time, Beethoven used the piano as his personal musical laboratory. The piano sonata became, more than any other genre of music, a place where he could experiment with harmony, motivic development, the contextual use of form, and, most important, his developing view of music as a self-expressive art. Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas include some of his most popular works as well as some of his most experimental. More than any other of his amazing works, Beethoven's piano sonatas are his personal testament, expressed in his own voice.