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The Art of Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (8 CD box set, APE)

The Art of Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (8 CD box set, APE)

The Art of Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (8 CD box set, APE)

Performer: Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
Orchestra: Vienna Symphony Orchestra, North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Carlo Maria Giulini, Cord Garben
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Claude Debussy, Johannes Brahms, Fryderyk Chopin
Audio CD
SPARS Code: ADD
Number of Discs: 8 CD box set
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Size: 1.92 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

CD 01: Mozart PCs 13 & 15, Garben/NDR-Sinfonieorchester
CD 02: Mozart PCs 20 & 25, Garben/NDR-Sinfonieorchester
CD 03: Beethoven PCs 1 & 3, Giulini/Vienna
CD 04: Beethoven PC 5 (Giulini/Vienna) & PS 4
CD 05: Schubert PS in A Minor, D537; Chopin Mazurkas (10 total), Prelude (op. 45), Ballade (op. 23) & Scherzo (op. 31)
CD 06: Schumann Carnaval & Faschingsschwank aus Wien; Brahms Ballades (op. 10)
CD 07: Debussy Preludes I & Children’s Corner
CD 08: Debussy Preludes II & Images I & II

# Mazurka for piano No. 46 in C major, Op. 68/1, CT. 96
Composed by Fryderyk Chopin
with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

# Mazurka for piano No. 22 in G sharp minor, Op. 33/1, CT. 72
Composed by Fryderyk Chopin
with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

# Mazurka for piano No. 20 in D flat major, Op. 30/3, CT. 70
Composed by Fryderyk Chopin
with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

# Mazurka for piano No. 19 in B minor, Op. 30/2, CT. 69
Composed by Fryderyk Chopin
with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

# Mazurka for piano No. 25 in B minor, Op. 33/4, CT. 75
Composed by Fryderyk Chopin
with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

# Mazurka for piano No. 49 in F minor, Op. 68/4, CT. 99
Composed by Fryderyk Chopin
with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

# Prelude for piano No. 25 in C sharp minor, Op. 45, CT. 190
Composed by Fryderyk Chopin
with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

# Ballade for piano No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23, CT. 2
Composed by Fryderyk Chopin
with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

# Scherzo for piano No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 31, CT. 198
Composed by Fryderyk Chopin
with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

# Carnaval for piano, Op. 9
Composed by Robert Schumann
with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

# Faschingsschwank aus Wien (“Phantasiebilder”), for piano, Op. 26
Composed by Robert Schumann
with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

# Ballades (4) for piano, Op. 10
Composed by Johannes Brahms
with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

# Pr?ludes (12) for piano, Book I, L. 117
Composed by Claude Debussy
with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

# Children’s Corner, suite for piano (or orchestra), L. 113
Composed by Claude Debussy
with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

# Pr?ludes (12) for piano, Book II, L. 123
Composed by Claude Debussy
with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

# Images (3), for piano, Set I, L. 110
Composed by Claude Debussy
with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

# Images (3), for piano, Set II, L. 111
Composed by Claude Debussy
with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

A pianist one has to know. His Debussy remains a reference.

Am not a fan of Michelangeli, but this set reunites some of his best. You have here a good sample of his Art. Of course his Debussy may open your ears about the composer works, although being a bit cold and although being other interesting readings. As the Paul Jacobs, the Bavouzet or the Pommier accounts, which I prefer. No matter, Michelangeli remains a sort of cannon in what Debussy concerns. Then here you have his Emperor account. Find Michelangeli’s piano sound a bit weak, but his performance here, as in his Mozart 20 th. Concert are rather good. Though think Moravec and moreover than any other, Gulda, did the best renditions of the 20th Concert. Really, if you hear Gulda’s Mozart, any other pales in comparison. Excepting, of course, the unforgettable rendition Weissenberg did of the 21st. piano concert (EMI Icon) . And if you are looking for a “classic” performance of the Beethoven 5th., think Magaloff did one of the best, not to mention the Giles with Ludwig, or the Gould ones. Nowadays we have a remarkable, quite romantic renditions of the fifth Beethoven piano concert in the Pizarro and McKerras recording and that of Lisiecki with the St. Martins. But above all, about the Fifth Beethoven Piano Concert, have to say that the possibly the best interpretation I’ve ever heard, is the impressive Radu Lupu one. Lupu may be the best Beethoven interpreter we have nowadays…if it consists of “playing the music as it is”. This applies also to his Schubert, etc. Lupu may be far beyond any other in almost everything he plays. Back to Michelangeli, he is quite classic in his interpretations and his search of perfection in playing, made him a bit of a topic, too. For don’t find him innovative in any sense. Though not lacking a sort of beauty, sometimes, in his ethereal sort of piano sonority. Bought this for think one has to know and have, the one who was once called the “prince of pianists”. Took him a lot of efforts and rehearsals or practice to reach this degree of perfection. But don’t like his Carnaval, e. g., for his seek of contrast between basses and high tones and between slow and fast movements, made it an artificial reading, effectist and not because of this a more personal one. Here again, if you are looking for a “classic” Carnaval interpretation, think the Magaloff one is an excellent choice. Frankly, in a more personal way, I would choose the Cecile Licad or Tamas Vassary performances. And nowadays, Le Sage, has done a faithful and moving reading, also, of the Carnaval. So, yes, we have to know Michelangeli, and is good to have it, though many will prefer other interpreters.

Fascinating collection

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is one of those performers who seems to divide listeners. For some he is a magician capable of conjuring wonderful sonorities and colours from his instrument. For others he is an icy perfectionist whose playing is as unengaging as it is perfectly controlled. This DG set contains a good cross section of his recordings, though it does not contain his perhaps most famous recording, the Brahms ‘Paganini Variations’ made for EMI. Strangely this set left me in two minds about Michelangeli. The Mozart and Beethoven concerto recordings on the first discs left me rather cold. But there are some real treasures here too: Schumann’s ‘Carnaval’ and ‘Faschingsschwank aus Wien’; Brahms’ ‘Ballades’; some exquisite Chopin (the first ‘Ballade’ and a handful of mazurkas); and last but not least some Debussy (‘Images’, ‘Children’s Corner’ and ‘Preludes’). The Debussy recordings are stupendous and worth the price of the set on their own. The control of colour, mood and voice is fantastic and you will not hear these pieces played better.

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