Beethoven Piano Concertos 3, 4 & 5 - Gramophone

It would almost be worth acquiring these two discs for the conducting. Not having heard Mackerras direct these concertos before, I found there was double pleasure to be had from these fresh and inspiring readings. The most pleasing performance is probably that of the Fourth Concerto. In general, though, this is a performance of grace and musicianly charm. Where Pizarro's playing of the first-movement cadenza in the Third Concerto is impossibly mannered, suggesting that without the conductor's shaping hand the performance might end up goodness knows where, his handling of the cadenza in the Fourth Concerto is exceptional.



16 July 2009