Tuesday, 25 November 2008

201. Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Concerto no. 5 in E flat major (1809)


Title: The 5 Piano Concertos
Performers: Alfred Brendel, Vienna Philharmonic
Director: Simon Rattle
Year: 1998
Length: 40 minutes


I have had this collection of the 5 Beethoven piano concertos for a long time, about 9 years now. It is my favourite collection of the Beethoven concertos, if you can get it, do. An added bonus from this edition is the booklet which makes Brendel and Rattle look like a very strange gay couple in almost all pictures of them.

That being said this is definitely my favourite Beethoven piano concerto, it is a masterpiece and unfortunately the last one he would ever produce. He was by this time completely deaf and did not even play on the opening night.

The first movement is grandiose in all the possible senses of the word, it's long, majestic and beautiful, with constant changes of pace and ambience which make it constantly exciting to listen to during its 20 minutes. The second movement is a piece of sublime meditative beauty almost prefiguring Mahler's adagios and it immediately jumps in to the third movement with one of the greatest transitions in musical history. The third movement returns to the feel of the first powerful and joyous, if less martial. Amazing.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Popularly known as the "Emperor Concerto", [it] was his last piano concerto. It was written between 1809 and 1811 in Vienna, and was dedicated to Archduke Rudolf, Beethoven's patron and pupil. The first performance took place on November 28, 1811, at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig. In 1812, Carl Czerny, his student, gave the Vienna debut of this work.

This concerto is very well known, and rather popular. In October 2007, it was voted listeners' favourite in the ABC Classic FM Classic 100 Concerto poll.

Claudio Arrau Part 1, look for other parts on Youtube:

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