Wednesday, August 11, 2010

8/11 Piano Concerto No. 2 (Argerich & Friends)

Here's an unusual concert of Beethoven's 2nd Piano Concerto, Op.19 as performed by Martha Argerich with a reduced orchestra.  I never knew she had her own Sinfonietta!  Apparently founded and conducted by Dario Ntaca, this group gives a fleet interpretation and shows off Martha's 'mad skilz' quite well.  I wonder why she never recorded Beethoven's piano sonatas?  As far as I know there exists only a very early recording of Opus 101, but no other sonata....


First Movement below:

Movement 2 is here.

Movement 3 is here.

(embedding is not allowed for the 2nd and 3rd movements, oddly)

Linklist for the whole concert
Martha Argerich blog

One thing that many people do not know (besides the fact that Piano Concerto No. 2 (1795) was written BEFORE Piano Concerto No. 1 (1797)) is that the cadenza for this work was written much later than the date of original publication.   In fact it's generally surmised that the cadenza was written around 1810, almost 9 years after the concerto was first performed.  The 1810 cadenza reflects a much more seasoned Beethoven, and has notes beyond the range of pianos that existed in 1801.  For that reason every time I hear this concerto (as well as Opus 15, same deal) I always wonder how Beethoven had performed it when it first premiered.  Interestingly, some historical/period pianists have recorded this concerto using their own cadenzas since the one Beethoven finally published can't be used on fortepianos for the reason mentioned above.

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