Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3; Piano Concerto No. 4

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Beethoven
LABELS: Philips Virtuoso
WORKS: Piano Concerto No. 3; Piano Concerto No. 4
PERFORMER: Stephen Kovacevich (piano)BBC SO/Colin Davis
CATALOGUE NO: 426 062-2 ADD 1971/74
These performances stand the test of time remarkably well. Kovacevich delivers extremely satisfying accounts of both works – his playing is stylish, expressive and penetrating, nowhere more so than in the Andante con moto of No. 4, where the range and tonal colour is quite hypnotic. Davis and the BBC Symphony Orchestra are admirable partners, providing both the necessary weight and emotional intensity in No. 3, as well as exuberance in the finale of No. 4. It’s a pity, though, that the orchestral sound is somewhat recessed. But at bargain price this release still remains highly competitive. Erik Levi

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