"Every real creation of art is independent, more powerful than the artist himself, and returns to the divine through its manifestation. It is one with man only in this, that it bears testimony to the mediation of the divine in him."
Beethoven: 5 Piano Concertos
(Alfred Brendel, piano; Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; Simon Rattle, conductor)
Alfred Brendel's latest (and fourth) take on Beethoven's piano concertos proves to be his most effective--thanks in part to Simon Rattle and the Vienna Philharmonic, who provide a historically accurate, but still colorful, performance. Highly musical and simply beautiful.
Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9
(Daniel Barenboim, conductor; Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
Simply put, Daniel Barenboim's 2000 Romantic traversal of Beethoven's symphonies will be remembered and cherished for years to come. Barenboim is at the helm of a world-class orchestra, the sonics are superb, and he gives us a taste for Furtwängler's expressionism without sacrificing consistency or musicality. Riveting!
Furtwangler Conducts Beethoven
(Wilhelm Furtwaengler, conductor; Berlin Philharmonic; Vienna Philharmonic
There are all too many CD packages featuring Beethoven's Symphonies Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9, but few pack the wallop of Wilhelm Furtwaengler's wartime performances. Remastered here and at a bargain price, these historic, fiery recordings are hard to pass up. Loaded with angst and highly expressionist, these may not be your reference Beethoven recordings, but they offer an awesome listening experience.