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Beethoven 5 Piano Concertos
Luiz de Moura Castro, piano
Venezuela Symphony Orchestra
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All five concertos are expressive, heartfelt performances. There are a few mistakes to be sure, but these live performances are full of commitment and love. Luiz de Moura Castro is a Brazilian pianist with extensive international experience, and it was very enlightening, as well as emotionally fulfilling, to collaborate with him in this project. Although all 5 concertos have a high level of creativity and freedom, I believe that Moura's greatest achievement is with the 3rd Concerto. The first movement is strong and very heroic. The second movement is played very slowly, and one gets the feeling that time stops. Some may not like this, but if you get "hooked" by it, it becomes a revelation. It was very, very difficult to accompany the piano at this tempo. The last movement is played as a scherzo. The tempo is again slow, but now this helps to bring out a diabolical quality that I had never heard before. When the Presto Coda arrives, the main body of the movement becomes something analogous to Beethoven's third movements in his symphonies, building up strength for the climax at the end. This may be the most coherent interpretation of this concerto that I have heard.