Among the best: Mozart Piano Concertos 22, 23 & 24 by Rudolf
Gordon Shum | Auckland, New Zealand | 05/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Isn't it great to have your virtual concert at home, especially your favourite Mozart piano concertos played by Rudolf Buchbinder with VPO (the Mozart orchestra). The experience you could merely enjoy from attending a real concert.
Before you really enjoy the virtual concert you would always have your concerns, and pre-conception of the nearly perfect interpretation from the great recordings of the Mozart piano concertos in the past. You wouldn't expect Buchbinder's interpretation could surpass those CDs you use as reference (my reference are: Ashkenazy for K482, Curzon for K488, Haskil for K491). In fact the only expectation would be, at least, it reaches a high level of artistic achievement and performance.
I have watched this DVD for three times before I could give my judgement. Buchbinder's interpretation is among the higher rating, more like the hybrid of Murray Perahia and Alfred Brendel with both elegance and intelligence, and is more academic than showmanship. Buchbinder brings us the joyfulness of late Mozart's piano concertos, with his intrinsic energy induced in the performance. His style resembles tradition from the old school. It is more than you can hope for from this DVD. The performance of VPO is more than satisfying, sometimes even better than Buchbinder himself (especially in K491). The vintage sound of VPO from the golden strings, and especially the predominance of woodwinds (clarinet, flute, bassoon, and oboe in K491) brings the interpretation to a higher level and more than you can expect from the top European orchestra. When this compares with the `dry beauty' of Karl Bohm's VPO DVD (Mozart piano concerto No.23 by Pollini) you would be obsessed with and fascinated by such `flexible or fluid beauty' of the VPO sound in this DVD.
K482 is the standout among the performance and interpretation of the three piano concertos in this DVD recording (even so the other two are much much more than above average). In all, this DVD can be ranked as among the finest concerto performance in DVD and you shouldn't miss it, especially if you are a lover of Mozart music. It is strongly recommended by the writer.
Gorgeous Live Performances of Three of Mozart's Finest Conce
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 04/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A couple of years ago I raved about a CD box set that comprised most of the Mozart piano concertos played by Rudolf Buchbinder and the Vienna Symphony on the Profil label. They had been recorded in 1998 and originally appeared on the Calig label. Here we have a more recent DVD of performances of three of the most popular concertos -- all recorded live in a concert less than a year ago, 7 May 2006 -- with Buchbinder and the great Vienna Philharmonic in their Grosse Musikvereinsaal. As in the CDs Buchbinder conducts from the keyboard. These performances are simply gorgeous, both tonally and musically, with a slight autumnal tinge that is emotionally moving. It may be that I was moved partially because this concert occurred to commemorate both the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth and Buchbinder's 60th birthday. Buchbinder is treasured by musical cognoscenti but not terribly well known otherwise, at least in the US. This is a shame because he belongs to the chain of great Austrian pianists that include such luminaries as Alfred Brendel, Friedrich Gulda, Paul Badura-Skoda and Rudolf Serkin.
There is nothing flashy about these performances. But there is great musicianship and great heart. Buchbinder plays in unexceptionable style but occasionally one hears him decorate a cadence or impose a certain mild rubato that is not otherwise expected. He also tends to start his trills on the main, not the upper, note, a slight musicological solecism. But otherwise his playing is noble and unaffected. It must be said that Buchbinder is best in live performance; his studio recordings can be a bit dry and studied; here he is spontaneous and joyful. This is Mozart of the highest order. The VPO, of course, know this music in their sleep. They play it as if it is their native language which, of course, in a sense it is. What better than to hear Mozart played by the hometown team!
Vienna's Grosse Musikvereinsaal is one of the most striking of European concert halls, noted for both its visual beauty and, best of all, for its auditory truthfulness. Both sonically and visually this DVD captures the concert in lifelike verisimilitude. One notes that the audience is exceptionally quiet but also exceptionally enthusiastic at the end of each concerto.
Format: 16:9; Sound: PCM stereo, Dolby 5.1, DTS 5.1; Region Code: 0 (worldwide); TT=91 mins.
The above-mentioned Mozart box set: Mozart: The Piano Concertos [Box Set]"