Sunday, January 30, 2011

1/30 Beethoven's Piano Concertos 3 & 5 with Gulda & Pollini

George Szell, Baton-naire.
Today I'm featuring a couple of Beethoven's piano concertos: The 5th, his final and possibly grandest concerto, and the 3rd, in his C minor "heroic/tragic" mode.

From the very first tutti of the 5th Piano Concerto it feels like the heavens are opening up....  This was the only piano concerto that Beethoven didn't premiere himself - sadly his hearing had deteriorated too much by this time... Fortunately piano-genius Friedrich Gulda is here to help us muddle through instead with his friend George Szell (no slouch in the musical muscles department either):

Wiener Festwochen 1966 -
Friedrich Gulda, Piano
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
George Szell, Conductor
Musikvereinssaal Wien, 5. Juni 1966
Beethoven, Piano Concerto 5 "Emperor" Op.73
41 minutes

Sadly the video is not embeddable in the blog page, but click HERE and you should be able to watch the full concert.

OR you can watch Gulda perform AND conduct it HERE at "Classical TV":
"Austrian Piano virtuoso Friedrich Gulda, plays Beethoven's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 5 in E flat Op. 73 (Emperor) with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, which he also conducts."
I don't like to embed their videos because everytime the page loads the "logo" theme comes up - Ack!  Another great concert tho with a somewhat more "unbuttoned" Gulda.

(HERE's a previous post on the 5th Piano Concerto with Annie Fischer on the ivories.)

An earlier work is the 3rd Piano Concerto.  This one seems to get less exposure than the others for some reason.  However some say that it heralds Beethoven's break from the more classical stylings of Mozart and Haydn and signals the beginning of his mature "heroic" period.  Karl Böhm conducts and I featured some rehearsal footage of Maestro Böhm here in the past.
I couldn't figure out how to embed this one on the blog either - so I might as include it in today's "no-hitter"...
Karl Böhm, Baton-sensei
Piano Concerto 3 in C minor, Op. 37 (1800)
Karl Böhm, 1978, probably Vienna Philharmonic
Piano: Maurizio Pollini

Karl Böhm Conducts Beethoven's 3rd Piano Concerto

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