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Classical 101

All Beethoven Program on Classical Showcase

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Friday evening at 7 on Classical 101, Classical Showcase presents three piano concertos in an all-Beethoven program with Leif Ove Andsnes, who will lead the Mahler Chamber Orchestra from the keyboard.

Alan Gilbert, the Music director of the New York Philharmonic, will be behind the microphone instead of on the podium to host this broadcast concert from the "Carnegie Hall Live" series.

Piano Concertos 2, 3, and 4 bridge the Classical and Romantic eras and show Beethoven in different moods.  No. 2 in Bb was actually the first piano concerto Beethoven wrote, with sketches going back to his teenage years.  It happened to be published second in 1801, so it got the number 2.  It has exuberant energy and tunefulness.

Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, published in 1804,  is the only concerto Beethoven wrote in a minor key.  I'ts a more dramatic work befitting its minor key designation, but it ends happily enough in C major.  The opening movement of this concerto is said to have been influenced by Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 24, also in C minor.

Piano Concerto No. 4 in G got its first public performance in Vienna in 1808, although its was written a couple of years earlier. In this work, which opens with solo piano before the orchestra comes in, we hear a more introspective and personal side of Beethoven.  The subtleties of this great concerto were not fully appreciated at the time, but now it is regarded by some as the greatest of the five piano concertos.

Join us Friday at 7 on Classical 101 for Beethoven with Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra on Classical Showcase.