Various: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Meiningen (Works By Beethoven/ Brahms) (Arthaus Dvd: 107170)
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After Prague, Madrid and London, in 1994 it was the turn of Meiningen to host the Europe concert which, as in previous years, was held to celebrate the foundation of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra on 1st May 1882. The German pianist and conductor, Hans von Bulow (1830-1894) - the centenary of whose death the concert also commemorates - was engaged here, from 1880 until 1885, with the Meininger Hoforchester before being appointed the first Principal Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. Meiningen, situated at the centre of a Germany no longer divided by the Iron Curtain, can look back on a great musical past. During the course of the last century, the town developed into a theatre and musical centre, which it has remained to this day. The concert opens with Beethoven's fifth piano concerto, a majestic, virtuoso work which enthralls. This present recording is impressive for two reasons: on the one hand there is the imperial character of the work itself, and then there are the musicians, Abbado and Barenboim. In their interpretation of this highly imaginative and expressive work, genius and charisma have combined to produce a delicately magical, and at the same time powerfully virtuoso performance of one of music's greatest piano concertos. The concert concludes with Brahms second symphony.