Argerich & Ozawa: Beethoven
Martha Argerich (piano), Mito Chamber Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa (conductor)
Listening to this lively recording it is hard to believe that Ozawa and Argerich have a combined age of 158 so playful and punchy is their performance of Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15.
It is interesting to compare this with a much earlier performance by these two artists with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra on YouTube.
Both performances are highly enjoyable and worthy of your attention. In the later performance you will note some influences of the HIP (Historically Informed Performance) movement shown most clearly in the use of hard timpani sticks.
Ozawa does not take Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21 at a particularly fast tempo but everything works out very nicely with tremendous detail coming from the small forces of the Mito Chamber Orchestra. Ozawa makes the most of the rich colours and harmonious spirit of this work.
Both of these performances show a sense of freshness and inventiveness and were recorded live in Ibaraki, Japan. Highly recommended.