Accompanied by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, English classical pianist Paul Lewis performs Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37. Conductor: Matthew Halls. A wonderful rendition of the famous piece. Recorded on March 9, 2017.
Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3
Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 was finished in 1800. The piece clearly outlines Beethoven’s creative path, revealing works of great value and confirming the creative genius of the composer.
The third piano concerto is the first one to use a minor key and the first one that clearly separates Beethoven from the classical period (i.e. Mozart’s piano concertos). In this concerto, the composer produced a more varied and dynamic work rich in the turbulent emotions for which he was becoming known.
The piano style was suddenly less ornate, and more muscular as if he’d decided that he didn’t have to conform to established standards and had immediately set about challenging the capabilities of the then-current instruments.
Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 saw its debut three years after its completion on April 5th, 1803. The concert held on that day featured only Beethoven’s compositions.
In addition to the new concerto, audiences would hear the First and Second Symphonies and the oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives. It is known that Beethoven played the solo piano part from his memory since he hadn’t managed to write it out entirely
He completed the solo part only a year later when his friend and student Ferdinand Ries (German composer, 1784-1838) had to play it.
The concerto is in three movements. With start times in the video:
- 00:32 Allegro con brio. The first movement is constructed like a sonata and the themes, bringing a feeling of force and confidence, are first presented by the orchestra, with vigorous, masculine tonalities. The second lyrical theme is in powerful contrast with the first one.
- 17:50 Largo. The second movement introduces a musical theme that expresses reposition and meditation.
- 26:50 Rondo. allegro. The finale of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 has a joyful and gracious theme. The movement begins in C minor with an agitated theme played only by the piano. The movement ends with a C major coda marked presto.
Paul Lewis CBE (born 20 May 1972) is an English classical pianist. He is internationally regarded as one of the leading musicians of his generation.
His cycles of core piano works by Beethoven and Schubert have received unanimous critical (he performed all 32 of the Beethoven piano sonatas, on tour in the United States and Europe, between the 2005 and 2007 seasons) and public acclaim worldwide, and consolidated his reputation as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of the central European classical repertoire.
His numerous awards include
- Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist of the Year
- Two Edison awards
- Three Gramophone awards
- The Diapason D’or de l’Annee
- The Preis Der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik
- The Premio Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana
- The South Bank Show Classical Music award. He holds honorary degrees from Liverpool, Edge Hill, and Southampton Universities, and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
He works regularly as a soloist with the world’s great orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, NHK Symphony, New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic, and the Royal Concertgebouw, Cleveland, Tonhalle Zurich, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Philharmonia, and Mahler Chamber Orchestras.
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