Covering the breadth of Beethoven’s complete output, this updated 86-CD box set is a staggering collection featuring performers including Alfred Brendel, Sir Colin Davis, David Zinman, Herbert Blomstedt, Staatskapelle Dresden and the London Symphony Orchestra.
Featured works include: Symphonies, Piano Concertos, Violin Concerto & Romances, Overtures and other orchestral works, Fidelio, Leonore, Septet, Sextet, String Quintets, String Quartets, String Trios, Violin Sonatas, Cello Sonatas, Chamber music for flute, Music for winds and brass, Piano Quintet, Clarinet Trio, Piano Sonatas & Variations, Songs, Masses.
The piano remained the main instrument of Beethoven throughout his life, and this specially priced 4-CD box set represents his entire and sizeable output for piano and orchestra, starting with the early Piano Concerto in E flat, WoO 4 – a work of tremendous energy and great technical demands, which Beethoven wrote when he was just twelve years old – and ending with Piano Concerto No. 5, the only one that Beethoven never performed himself in concert, due to his developing deafness.
The 1981 Jean-Jacques Beineix film Diva is a dizzying cornucopia of delights, with a strong sense of urban cool and a cast of characters whose alternating detachments and obsessions hint at the legacy of pain and loneliness that helped form them. Its score, composed by Vladimir Cosma, is inseparable from the film, which, after all, is about music itself, and the ways that it links to desire and longing. From the beautiful arias of Wilhemina Wiggins Fernandez (who plays an opera singer in the film) to the eerie, achingly beautiful instrumental pieces composed by Cosma to set the mood for images of rain-slicked streets, Taiwanese music pirates, teenaged Vietnamese thieves, jaded middle-aged art sages, motorbikes and car chases, the score for Diva remains one of Cosma's masterpieces, a perfect companion to a film that became an international underground hit.
Dumay and Pires have made some outstanding recordings.. and this new set of Beethoven's complete works in the same genre.. belongs among the very best available.
Make no mistake, this is chamber music playing of the first order, and a major contribution to the Beethoven discography–a set to be savored and enjoyed many times over