WORKS: Concerto in C for Violin, Cello and Piano, Op. 56; Violin Concerto in D (arr. for piano)
PERFORMER: Dong-Suk Kang (violin), Maria Kliegel (cello), Jeno´´ Jandó (piano) Nikolaus Esterházy Sinfonia/Béla Drahos
CATALOGUE NO: 8.554288
The delightful surprise on this very generous CD is the first item: Beethoven’s Violin Concerto arranged by the composer as a piano concerto at the request of Muzio Clementi – a partner in a London music publishing firm. Beethoven’s arrangement includes a spectacular first-movement cadenza with solo timpani playing with the piano. The performance of the work is magical and the recording, made in the Italian Institute, Budapest, is excellently balanced. This arrangement is little known but it is a winner.
The Triple Concerto, a new recording of which on DG was reviewed here in August, is suddenly up-market: well and good, for it is a much better piece than its reputation has us believe. This performance is scintillating and the whole approach much nearer to the Beethoven style of 1804 than the benchmark recording with Karajan and co. listed below, which is undoubtedly brilliant, but rather lush. Personally, I also prefer the Naxos CD to the Philharmonia DG recording mentioned above, not least because gives you 23 minutes more music and rare Beethoven at that. What is immediately attractive about this recording is a certain spontaneity about both the performances and the warm sound of the Italian Institute in Budapest, which is ideal for this kind of chamber orchestra with soloists. The soloists in the Triple Concerto are brilliant and subtle, as the music requires. A very winning recording. HC Robbins Landon