Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

BEETHOVEN Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

BEETHOVEN Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

Article excerpt

"BEETHOVEN Piano Concertos nos. 1 & 2." OHi Mustonen, piano and conductor; Tapiola Sinfonietta. Ondine Ode 1099-5. 61:46. Recorded Tapiola Hall in November 2006 (First Concerto) and December 2006 (second Concerto); the piano is not identified. Program notes by Hans-Werner Küthen (editor of the Beethoven-Haus critical edition of the concertos) in English, German, French, and Finnish. ©2007. $19.98.

This is the first in a set of three disks featuring the Finnish pianist, conductor, and composer OUi Mustonen in the complete Beethoven fortepiano concertos (including the fortepiano version of the Violin Concerto). Mustonen, now nearing forty, has aroused quite a bit of controversy in his career, he has been characterized as "interesting and individual," "distracting," and "mad." Will Crutchfield, in a New York Ttma review of his debut at the 92nd Street Y in 1987, described "an artistic demeanor likely to provoke frustration and even annoyance along with admiration." My own reviews of Mustonen's recordings of Beethoven variation sets (Fanfare 17:6) and the Diabelli Variations and other works (Fanfare 25:3) found his playing "bizarre," with a "flagrant disregard for the score" that seemed to have the purpose of focusing attention on the performer rather than the music. Mustonen has been compared to Glenn Gould, but for willful exhibitionism, I would place him in the company of Lang Lang. …

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