Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G; Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat (Emperor)

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COMPOSERS: Beethoven
LABELS: DG
WORKS: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G; Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat (Emperor)
PERFORMER: Maurizio Pollini (piano); Vienna PO/Karl Böhm
CATALOGUE NO: 439 483-2 ADD (1976/79)
Both soloists are masterly exponents of these great piano concertos, even if Brendel appears the more cerebral, Pollini the more spontaneous. Ideally, Brendel may have been better off with Böhm and the VPO, and Pollini with Levine and the Chicago SO, but this should not detract much from the enjoyment of their respective interpretations. The fine Brendel performance was recorded live in 1983, the riveting Pollini studio account in the Seventies, and both men play the less usual cadenza written by the composer himself for the first movement of the Emperor. Sound is brighter on the DG disc than on its Philips counterpart. Christopher Fifield

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