Beethoven, Brahms – Triple & Double Concertos – Geza Anda, Wolfgang Schneiderhan, Pierre Fournier, Janos Starker, Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Ferenc Fricsay (1961/1962/2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Beethoven, Brahms – Triple & Double Concertos – Geza Anda, Wolfgang Schneiderhan, Pierre Fournier, Janos Starker, Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Ferenc Fricsay (1961/1962/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:11:23 minutes | 1,35 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © Deutsche Grammophon
Recording date: #1-3 in June 1960, #4-6 in June 1961 ; Recording Location: Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany

Fricsay conducts concertos by Beethoven and Brahms: Friendship is the connecting link between the two works here. Beethoven is thought to have written his Triple Concerto in 1803 – 04 for his favorite pupil, the Archduke Rudolph. Brahms composed his Double Concerto in 1887 as a peace offering, to heal a breach with his friend the violinist Joseph Joachim. It seems to have done the trick; and it was canny of Brahms, who conducted the first performance (Cologne, October 1887), to have the cellist of the Joachim Quartet, Robert Hausmann, sharing solo hon- ours – it would have been difficult for Brahms and Joachim to have a row with a third party present. I do not know how friendly the soloists on these two famous recordings were, but I recall what a strong “house style” manated from Deutsche Grammophon productions in the 1950s and early 1960s.

It is hard to remember back to a time when this cover photograph — three geezers in ties and dark suits, two of them bald and one with thick, horn-rimmed glasses — could have been considered hip. But, even then, of course, the last thing Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft wanted in a recording of Brahms’ Double Concerto was hip. What DGG wanted was the big-boned tone of cellist Janos Starker, the hard-muscled technique of violinist Wolfgang Schneiderhan, and, most of all, the clear-eyed modernism of the RSO Berlin under Ferenc Fricsay. And that’s exactly what it got: a Brahms’ Double that had plenty of power and precision but that was cold-blooded in its execution. But, even coupled with Fricsay’s recording of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto again with Schneiderhan, but partnered this time with Pierre Fournier and Géza Anda, it’s hard to imagine anyone in these digital times will find these performances hip. Fricsay was a cool and clear conductor with a lean and sinewy approach to tempo and form and, while his Beethoven Triple is lyrical, it is more objective than subjective, more steel than silk. While back in the early ’60s, these recordings along with the three geezers on the cover might have been hip, one wonders if digital listeners will be able to dig it, daddy-o. DG’s original early stereo sound was warmer and deeper than many of its original early digital recordings. —AllMusic Review by James Leonard

Tracklist:

Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Concerto for Piano, Violin, Cello and Orchestra in C major, Op.56 ‘Triple Concerto’
1. 1. Allegro 18:19
2. 2. Largo 05:03
3. 3. Rondo alla Polacca 13:43

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra in A minor, Op.102 ‘Double Concerto’
4. 1. Allegro 16:54
5. 2. Andante 08:09
6. 3. Vivace non troppo 09:16

Personnel:
Janos Starker, cello (#4-6)
Pierre Fournier, cello (#1-3)
Géza Anda, piano (#1-3)
Wolfgang Schneiderhan, violin
Radio Symphonie Orchester Berlin
Ferenc Fricsay, conductor

Download:

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