Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos 4 & 5, "Emperor" (Live)

Nicholas Angelich, Insula Orchestra, Laurence Equilbey

Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos 4 & 5, "Emperor" (Live)

Pianist Nicholas Angelich plays Beethoven’s two great concerto masterpieces on a French Pleyel piano from 1892, an instrument with sparkling, bell-like upper registers and a growling bass. Its sound, in fact, not only blends beautifully with the Insula Orchestra—of the same size and makeup as in Beethoven’s day—but it also lends a sense of immediacy and theater to this wonderful recording, almost as if parts of it were improvised. Beethoven’s cadenzas emerge wild and free—just listen to the final minutes of the Piano Concerto No. 4’s opening movement—while the piano’s more intimate tones help Angelich craft an aching beauty from No. 5’s slow movement.

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