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Rudolf Buchbinder Embraces Beethoven and the Art of Live Performances

Austrian pianist Rudolf Buchbinder confirms the Vienna legacy through two powerful Beethoven releases dated year 2011, a DVD/Blu-ray of the Piano Concertos Nos. 1 – 5 with Wiener Philharmoniker and a CD box with the complete 32 Piano Sonatas, both recorded live, in Vienna and Dresden respectively. Often considered being the shining successor of the legendary Viennese-trojka (Gulda, Demus, Badura-Skoda), Buchbinder explains the different creative power of live performance:

“In my new complete recording of the Beethoven sonatas, the main issue for me was the musical breath. This only materialises on the concert stage, when the artist is making music live in front of his audience. Whoever works in the studio – as I did during my first recording of the 32 works – plays in a far more controlled manner than on stage, is not nervous and focuses on completely different issues than in the concert setting.”

Ludwig van Beethoven – Rudolf Buchbinder:

Piano Concertos Nos. 1 – 5, recorded live at the Goldener Saal, Musikverein, Vienna, 2011 (DVD/Blu-ray).

“The Sonata Legacy”, complete piano sonatas, live from Dresden in 2011 (9 CD:s)

Watch the Piano Concertos from Goldener Saal, Musikverein, Vienna, 2011 on YouTube:

Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 1 in C-major Op. 15
Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 19
Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37
Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58
Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73 “Emperor”

Beethoven’s Piano Concertos, sheet music to view or download and print:

Buchbinder discusses urtexts, improvisation, practice and performs Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, the “Pathetétique,” and a transcription of Johann Strauss’s “Soiree de Vienne,” recorded in WGBH’s Fraser Performance Studio in November 2008:

Rudolf Buchbinder – Biography

Rudolf Buchbinder was admitted to the Vienna Musik Hochschule, at age five, and remains the youngest student to gain entrance in the school’s history. He is firmly established as one of the most important pianists on the international scene, he is a regular guest of such renowned orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, London Philharmonic, National Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has collaborated with the world’s most distinguished conductors including Abbado, Dohnányi, Dudamel, Frühbeck de Burgos, Giulini, Harnoncourt, Maazel, Masur, Mehta, Saraste, Sawallisch and Thielemann and is a regular guest at the Salzburger Festspiele and other major festivals around the world.

Buchbinder has over 100 recordings to his credit, including the complete cycle of Beethoven sonatas, the complete Beethoven concertos, the complete Mozart piano concertos, all of Haydn’s works for piano, both Brahms concertos, and all of the rarely performed Diabelli Variations collection written by 50 Austrian composers. The 18-disc set of Haydn’s works earned him the Grand Prix du Disque.
His cycle of all of Mozart’s piano concertos with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, recorded live at the Vienna Konzerthaus, was chosen by Joachim Kaiser as CD of the Year.
Rudolf Buchbinder has also recorded live the Brahms piano concertos with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and all five Beethoven piano concertos with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra as soloist and conductor.
In 2006, in celebration of his 60th birthday, he performed twelve Mozart piano concertos with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Vienna Festwochen, the live DVD recording of which was released by EuroArts. In November 2010 a live recording of the Brahms piano concertos with the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta was released. His performances of the entire Beethoven Sonata Cycle on seven consecutive nights sold out at the Dresden Semperoper and the Mariinsky Hall in St. Petersburg earlier this year. The Dresden performances were recorded live and released worldwide by Sony.

Read more:
Rudolf Buchbinder – official website

Further listening:
Brahms’ Piano Concertos with Zubin Metha (2010)


  1. Adam Gray Says:

    Thanks for sharing! This is such a privilegie to be able to listen to all five piano concertos with these great musicians. And not least, it’s live performances. I wonder if he improvises the cadenzas. What do you think?

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