Christian Ferras / Eric Heidsieck / Janos Starker / Paul Tortelier

Beethoven: Triple Concerto; Brahms: Double Concerto

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Some of the greatest, legendary names in recorded classical music unite on this Doremi album for one of the most surprisingly sub-par recordings of the Beethoven Triple and Brahms Double concertos in memory. This CD of live performances with the Orchestre National de Radio France opens with a 1970 performance of the Beethoven Triple with violinist Christian Ferras, cellist Paul Tortelier, and pianist Eric Heidsieck. The primary detractor from this performance is the extremely poor sound quality of the recording, which, despite claims of having been remastered, is filled with hiss, scratch, and evidence of microphones being pushed well beyond their limits. Ferras' playing is puzzlingly poor, with sloppy intonation and several wrong entrances. The ensemble between the three soloists comes across as being completely unrehearsed. Although the sound quality improves markedly in the recording of the Brahms Double with cellist Janos Starker, little else does. There's still an overwhelming sense that the performance was thrown together at the last minute, and that the soloists have limited if any dialogue with one another and that the orchestra's conductor is on autopilot. Despite the many exemplary recordings each of these soloists has made, this particular anomaly is most certainly one to pass up.

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