Thursday, March 24, 2011

3/24 The "Emperor" - Piano Concerto 5 (Color Analysis)

The Emperor Concerto took me a little while to warm up to - it starts out so bombastically. But once past those massive initial tuttis so obviously designed to grab your attention (and which succeed so well) the "Emperor" reveals itself to be an edifice of great musical joy and power.

Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73 "The Emperor Concerto" (1809)
Vladimir Ashkenazy / Zubin Mehta
I. Allegro (0:00)
II. Adagio un poco mosso (20:41)
III. Rondo: Allegro ma non troppo (28:50)

CHANNEL LINK (Click here to see this video on my YT Channel.  Once there, click on "(more info)" and then you can view the video in place, while scrolling through the text below)
I. Allegro
Fanfare (MAROON)
1st Exposition: 
1st theme (BLUE)
(Pre-echo of 2nd theme) / 2nd Theme (VIOLET)
1st theme (Return) (BLUE)
3rd theme (based on 1st theme) (GREEN)
2nd Exposition: 
1st theme: with piano (BLUE)
2nd theme (VIOLET)
3rd theme (GREEN)
Development:  (PURPLE)
1st theme
3rd theme
1st theme (variation)
Introduction (MAROON)
1st theme (return) (BLUE)
2nd theme (VIOLET)
1st theme (return) (BLUE)
Coda: 1st theme (PURPLE)
Cadenza (based on 1st theme) (DARK BLUE)
Cadenza (continued, based on 2nd theme)
Orchestral re-entrance (SEA GREEN)

II. Adagio un poco mosso
1st theme (BROWN)
2nd theme (GREEN)
1st theme (interrupts) (BROWN)
2nd theme (continues) (GREEN)
1st and 2nd themes in combination (BLUE-GREEN)
3rd theme (PURPLE)
3rd theme (variation) (DARK BLUE)

III. Rondo: Allegro ma non troppo
Exposition:  (MAROON)
1st theme, part I:piano
1st theme, part I: orchestra
1st theme, part II
2nd theme (BROWN)
3rd theme (BLUE)
Exposition (repeat) (MAROON):
1st theme: piano
1st theme: orchestra
Development (variations): (PURPLE)
1st variation
2nd variation
3rd variation
1st theme,part I: piano (MAROON)
1st theme, part I: orchestra
1st theme, part II
2nd theme (BROWN)
3rd theme (BLUE)
1st theme, part I (MAROON)
1st theme, part II
Brief cadenza (BLUE)
Final statement of 1st theme (MAROON)

(form analysis from Alan Rich's "Play by Play")


  1. This is my first encounter with one of your color analysis posts. It will not be my last. That was super cool.

  2. Thanks! There's a link on the top right "Analyzing Beethoven's Music using Shaded Waveforms..." which lists all the ones I've done so far. I'm hoping to do all 32 piano sonatas next (3 are already up).

  3. Thanks so much for this! I'm starting to get into LvB and need all the help I can get with identifying thematic material. Love your site.

  4. thanks! These theme walk-thru's were a very great help to training my own ear...