Complete Piano Concertos
Beethoven wrote five concertos for piano and orchestra. He used the first two concertos to move away from his example, Mozart (whose last piano concerto was from 1791, while Beethoven completed his first in 1795).
In Concerto No. 3 Beethoven carved out new dimensions for the genre’s dramatic possibilities. And Concertos Nos. 4 and 5 have proved to be unmatched in their genre: the radiant Concerto No. 4 is worshipped by experts and aficionados alike, while No. 5 is the all-time favourite of the public at large.
Almost 25 years passed between Beethoven’s first sketches for a piano concerto and the double line he drew under his last one. His piano concertos thus show a development covering more than half of the composer’s life. – From the booklet notes
Hannes Minnaar and The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jan Willem de Vriend
‘Top recommendation among recent recordings’ (of Piano Concerto No.5)BBC Record Review
‘Freshness is the keyword here. Minnaar plays with deft panache and there is a real sense of chamber music being made; quiet passages emerge with an almost jaw-dropping hush, yet there is power and momentum when required. A most desirable entry among recent cycles.’Classical Music *****
‘It is the peculiar blend of sheer energy and esprit de finesse that can be identified as the distinctive brand of these recordings.’Presto Classical
‘Hannes Minnaar shows great sensitivity in the solo opening. The piano passagework, too, invariably bubbles with energy and subtlety of detail in Minnaar’s hands. There’s a terrific sense of energy and interplay that is very winning.’Gramophone (on Nos. 4 and 5)
‘Hannes Minnaar is already an artist whose maturity defines itself at every turn. In one breathtaking, even visionary reading after another, he proves that he has everything: a vibrant rhythm, a gorgeous, velvety sound born of discretion, a profound comprehension of musical teleology and structure, and a singer’s understanding of breath and linear flexibility.’Fanfare (on Nos. 4 and 5)
‘Probably the best and most exciting recording of Beethoven’s five piano concertos in recent years, perhaps even decades.’Pizzicato
‘Whether you're new to this piece or if you have already collected a couple versions: try this Dutch partnership. It has passion, drama, vital rhythms, transparency, and, more important: a total fusion between soloist and orchestra. It's less a competition for power than a celebration of unity, with pianist and orchestra continually sparking off each other.’BBC Radio 3 – Building a Library
‘A great performance by a conductor with vision, a pianist who radiates calm and control and a label with guts.’Luister 10/10
‘One rarely encounters this pianistic standard concert repertoire of Beethoven’s so full of tension and fresh, certainly not on CD in recent times.’BR Klassik (on Nos. 4 and 5)
‘Minnaar’s spontaneity and naturalness – there is an ease without superficiality that irresistibly reminds one of Arthur Rubinstein – are truly enchanting.’Crescendo Magazine (on Nos. 4 and 5)