Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2

The Piano Concerto No. 2 dates from a period when the young Beethoven was a concert pianist himself. In 1792 Beethoven had moved from Bonn to Vienna where musical careers (if not fortunes) were made. For the rest of the decade he was busy studying, performing and writing other piano music (notably the Pathétique sonata) as well as his first symphony, which was very much in the classical mode.

The Piano Concerto No. 2 is also Beethoven in classical mode, using an orchestra that would have suited a Mozart piano concerto equally well. What marks it out from other classical works of the time are the solo outbursts in each of the first two movements. In the first, a contrapuntal cadenza with exciting modulations takes us into new and more individual territory, in which the keyboard becomes absolutely the composer’s focus; in the second we are treated to some powerful, improvisatory solos. The last movement, a rondo with a highly rhythmic main theme in 6/8, manages to introduce a descending chromatic progression towards the end and closes with the piano oscillating rapidly between major and minor chords (a light hearted conclusion to the piece, but one which taxes every pianist).

This recording was made from performances given by Maria João Pires under Bernard Haitink in 2013. Haitink and Pires have developed a fine working relationship over the years, notably in Beethoven, and it shows here. Pires combines delicacy and boldness, delivering an interpretation that sits happily with any other in the catalogue. Haitink creates the perfect Beethovenian accompaniment to her playing, pointed, rhythmic and witty.

Trial Society of Sound for free


Enter your email to start your free trial

If you have a voucher code enter it below

I accept the privacy policy

I would like Bowers & Wilkins to keep me up to date by email about its products, news and events, and understand it will only use my information for the purposes outlined in its Privacy Policy.

Subscribe

 Subscribe to Society of Sound to download high-quality albums from Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios and the London Symphony Orchestra. All available in Apple Lossless and studio-quality FLAC. If you already have a Society of Sound membership please sign in 

Society of Sound Subscription - $59.95

Get full access to our catalogue of lossless audio downloads, and two new albums a month for a year.

Buy now

Renew

Copyright © 2018 Bowers & Wilkins. All rights reserved.