Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) - The Pianist



In November 1792, Beethoven set out for Vienna from his native Bonn. It was his second visit, and this time the move was to be permanent. He quickly established himself as a prodigiously talented pianist and composer. Donald Macleod looks at some of his earliest Viennese works involving the piano.
Piano Trio in Cm, Op 1, No 3 (third movement)
Florestan Trio:
Anthony Marwood (violin)
Richard Lester (cello)
Susan Tomes (piano)
Stephan Genz (baritone)
Roger Vignoles (piano)
Quintet in E flat, Op 16 (third movement)
Murray Perahia (piano)
Neil Black (oboe)
Thea King (clarinet)
Anthony Halstead (horn)
Graham Sheen (bassoon)
Piano Concerto No 2
Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano)
Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Nikolaus Harnoncourt (conductor).


Donald Macleod continues his exploration of Beethoven's meteoric career as a virtuoso pianist-composer and discusses his life-long admiration for the work of Goethe.
Aus Goethes Faust (Mephistos Flohlied), Op 75, No 3; Neue Liebe, neues Leben, Op 75, No 2
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone)
Jorg Demus (piano)
Sonata in E flat, Op 12, No 3 (first movement)
Martha Argerich (piano)
Gidon Kremer (violin)
Piano Concerto No 1
Mitsuko Uchida (piano)
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Kurt Sanderling (conductor).


Donald Macleod introduces two pieces performed on period instruments.
Sonata in F, Op 17
Geoffrey Govier (fortepiano)
Andrew Clark (natural horn)
Piano Concerto No 3 (cadenzas and lead-ins by Robert Levin)
Robert Levin (fortepiano)
Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique
John Eliot Gardiner (conductor).


22 December 1808 was the date of one of the most extraordinary concerts in musical history. The programme included world premieres of Beethoven's fifth and sixth symphonies, his Choral Fantasia and his fourth piano concerto. The occasion would also be the composer's last major public performance.
Piano Concerto No 4
Maurizio Pollini (piano)
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Karl Bohm (conductor)
Fantasia in Cm, Op 80
Carola Hohn, Katharina Kammerloher (sopranos)
Andrea Bonig (mezzo)
Endrik Wottrich, Par Lindskog (tenors)
Rene Pape (baritone)
Chorus of the German Staatsoper
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Daniel Barenboim (conductor).

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Donald Macleod introduces two towering masterpieces of Beethoven's piano oeuvre, created during the chaos and upheaval of the occupation of Vienna by Napoleonic forces in 1809.
Sonata in E flat, Op 81a (Les Adieux)
Stephen Kovacevich (piano)
Piano Concerto No 5 (Emperor)
Wilhelm Kempff (piano)
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Ferdinand Leitner (conductor).