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Re: Beethoven

Food for thought.  I'll listen to Levin and Gardiner.  But playing havoc with tempi, meter, "tense and nervous," the wild, contrapuntal cadenzas, and even lack of subtlety: all true and, perhaps, all reasons why I prefer Gould's Beethoven pc 1! 
-----Original Message-----
From: Bradley Lehman <bpl@umich.edu>
To: john grant <dohgrant@idirect.com>; f_minor@email.rutgers.edu <f_minor@email.rutgers.edu>
Date: Friday, December 24, 1999 10:14 AM
Subject: Re: Beethoven

I've enjoyed the Gould series of Beethoven concertos for at least 20 years, and find them delightful.  Still, though, I'm not entirely happy with that #1.  To me it sounds tense and nervous, and the orchestral playing lacks subtlety and blend.  (Like a mixture of sight-reading and just trying to keep up.)  And in the way GG launches into the final movement, the meter is too ambiguous: the first note sounds like a downbeat rather than an upbeat.  Those two completely wacky anachronistic cadenzas are fun, though!
Right now I particularly enjoy the new recording by Robert Levin with John Eliot Gardiner.  It's energetic but also relaxed enough, not driven like a race.  The cadenzas are fresh...they're improvised!  The phrasing makes perfect sense, with a natural differentiation of strong and weak notes.  All very well done.
Bradley Lehman, http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl
Dayton VA
One last query/rhetorical qustion: is there a better interpretation to be found anywhere of Beeth. PC 1 than Gould's with Golshman?  (Answer: NO, no one has ever recorded a more compelling version of that concerto; and Gould also gives us a 2nd and a 4th that is at the top of the heap!)