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Best version of Beethoven’s piano concerto no.5 - the emperor?


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Hi all,

The title says it all - what do you think is the best version of Beethoven’s piano concerto no.5 - otherwise known as the emperor? When I say the best, I am looking for quality of recording plus best interpretation.


My favourite so far is Krystian Zimerman (piano) and Leonard Bernstein conducting the Wiener Philharmoniker. It is a live recording. I am open to listening to other versions though to see if any other version surpasses this version.

 

For those not familiar with this piece of music, I suggest listen to it deeply, in a dark room and just focus on it. The second movement would have to be the most beautiful pieces of music ever composed - and the first and third movements, well, they are perfectly balanced gems with great piano and orchestra. This concerto is simply fantastic.

 

So what is you favourite version?

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I really enjoy this concerto played by Ashkenazy with Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Solti. The collection contains all 5 Beethoven piano concertos. There is a remastered HD version. As you mentioned, the second movement is magical, it is very emotional.

I have not heard many other versions in-depth to compare.

Thanks for the post, I will get the Zimerman version.

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I have not heard enough versions to suggest the best. However one version that made an impression was the one by István Antal with the Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra used in the movie Picnic at Hanging Rock

 

 

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