The first thing to note about this issue is the considerable generosity in playing length enabling all five concertos to be accommodated on the one disc. Add to that the undisputed reputation of Barenboim over many years as a highly respected interpreter of Beethoven coupled with an equally respected orchestra and recording company and the whole package seems unbeatable. As has been normal for Barenboim for many years, he directs from the keyboard and this has a clear unifying effect on the interpretation being offered…
Rudolf Serkin's 1964 recording of Beethoven's Piano Concerto in C minor is surely among the greatest recordings of the work ever made, and certainly his finest performance of the work. The energy and enthusiasm and even passion he brings to Concerto in C minor is overwhelming, and indeed, it overwhelms Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, who accompany Serkin with the sort of commitment that only a conductor and orchestra give to soloists when they are deeply inspired. But while Serkin's 1962 recording of Beethoven's Piano Concerto in E flat major is also surely among the greatest recordings of the work ever made, it is not quite Serkin's finest recording of the work.
…This is the most spellbinding concerto playing in the Emperor since Horowitz…
Schnabel is captured on his finest, loftiest form, both musically and pianistically.. - Jed Distler
Double album featuring Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor Op. 37, Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major Op. 58 and Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major Op. 73 - ‘Emperor' performed by Artur Pizarro, Sir Charles Mackerras and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.The Studio Master files are 192kHz / 24 bit.
"These are strong, taut performances as one expects, and the clarity and tonal range of Gilels's playing is consistently a matter for marvel…"