Giuliano Carmignola / Sol Gabetta / Dejan Lazic / Giovanni Antonini / Kammerorchester Basel

Beethoven: Triple Concerto

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The three soloists in the Beethoven Triple Conecerto in C major, Op. 56, are all attractive players in their own right, and they display lively, agile ensemble work here. Cellist Sol Gabetta in particular, emerging as a major star on her instrument, brings a lightness and clarity to the melodies of this work that is so often laden down with more weight than it can bear. (The work looks back to Beethoven's first period more than forward to the Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61.) But the real star is conductor Giovanni Antonini, leading the Basel Chamber Orchestra, who keeps the music moving along and brings it the transparency it so often lacks. The three overtures that bracket the Triple Concerto are much more than filler; Antonini brings an urgent trajectory to the Egmont Overture, Op. 84 (sample track 5), especially, with tempo shifts and razor-sharp instrumental turning points that perhaps take the piece away from the monumental tone of the Goethe play to which it is attached, but sound like no other version you've heard. If there's any complaint, it's that the Egmont Overture would have made a better conclusion than the Coriolan Overture, Op. 62, which is also well done but is a less self-contained piece. Impressive, even essential Beethoven that has absorbed the lessons of the historical-performance movement.

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