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Piano Concertos nos. 1 & 2

Ludwig van Beethoven

Hannes Minnaar
Jan Willem de Vriend
The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra

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"There is a lot in the sonics and basic approach to Beethoven in this disc that may serve that later work very well."
Fanfare, 01-11-2016

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Artamag, 04-10-2016

"De Vriend and Minnaar are a good duo. They give each other space, but - if necessary - they are firmly on each others skin."
Katholiek Nieuwsblad, 30-9-2016

Plaatpaal Radio 4
NTR Radio 4 Plaatpaal, 11-7-2016

Klassieke Zaken, 01-7-2016

"[...] Again, his range of touch is highly effective, and there is a pleasing mix of finesse and drive in the concerto’s closing moments."
gramophone, 01-5-2016

LUISTER 10 ***** " What a joy to listen to! Everything is right. [...] "
Luister, 08-4-2016

"As a duo, Minnaar and De Vriend fill each other in perfectly."
Piano Wereld, 05-4-2016

" [...] You only really experience good music during a concert. [...] "
Piano Wereld, 05-4-2016

Luister 10 - "This seems to be a complete series that belongs in the premiere league of the discography of these concertos."
Luister Magazine, 01-4-2016

"Minaar interprets both pieces with rare calm and composure, giving them an almost narrative character."
Crescendo, 01-4-2016

"The first two concerts on this Super Audio cd sound beautifully balanced."
Nederlands Dagblad, 18-3-2016

"The second cd, with the concerts nr. 1 and 2, is just such a high level as the legacy 4 and 5. Minnaars Beethovens are Kader, unafraid, decidedly and almost carelessly virtuoso, but he also leaves room for tenderness and vulnerability. Beautiful."
Het Parool, 14-3-2016

"The recordings of both concerts are beautiful.The cd has SACD-quality. This gives it a fullness in sound which is compelling. In short, wonderful cd. "
Friesch Dagblad, 10-3-2016

"The symbiosis between pianist, Orchestra and conductor is at triumvirate lover, the friend and the Dutch musicians just ideal. The one-time Orchestra sound, the slightly different mood of the piano, but above all the musical poetry of Hannes Minnaar make this Beethoven integral even for the final conclusion to a one-time event where referred to is going to be for a long time."
Opus klassiek, 06-3-2016

"The musical covenant that the pianist and the conductor have concluded, is clearly audible. Minnaar gives great direction to everything he plays. So here too, and his solo cadenza in the second concerto is a smart example of that. De Vriend stirs it all up wonderfully."
Trouw, 19-2-2016

"His style may perhaps best be characterized as sensitively romantic, musicall inventive, with much tonal beauty and fluent precision. Power play doesn't seem to be Minnaar's prime trade; his 'power' comes from well-chosen accentuation and subtle shifting from piano to forte, adequately supported and, where needed intensified by the Vriend", 09-2-2016


Before we listen to the young Dutch pianist Hannes Minnaar play Beethoven’s first two piano concertos, it is perhaps interesting to see how another young pianist may have played them once, long ago – a German who lived in Vienna, a headstrong and temperamental genius. His name? Ludwig van Beethoven. His pupil, the famous composer of etudes and sensitive observer Carl Czerny, once described his playing: “[...] characterised by passionate strength, alternated with all the charm of a smooth cantabile. The expressiveness is often intensified to extremes, particularly when the music tends towards humour [...] Passages become extremely daring by use of the pedal [...] His playing does not possess that clean and brilliant elegance of certain other pianists. On the other hand, it was spirited, grand and, especially in the adagio, filled with emotion and romanticism.” Strength. Smoothness. Humour. Focus on these aspects and you will come close to Beethoven. Minnaar, De Vriend and The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra play the concertos in reverse order: first 2, then 1.Artistically, it is highly defensible: introduced as it were by the more balanced, more modest Piano Concerto no. 2, no. 1 radiates all the more festiveness (trumpets, clarinets and tympani have come to join the orchestra). Perhaps the lovely, gentle, almost feminine B flat major of Concerto no. 2 would not have been able to hold its own after the male and martial C major. But there is something else. You see, Piano Concerto no. 2 actually came first. It was composed earlier, at least in its initial version.

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