Bronfman Plays Beethoven, Part II

« previous episode | next episode »

Thursday, June 04, 2015

The New York Philharmonic’s June broadcasts begin with the second program in The Beethoven Piano Concertos: A Philharmonic Festival, in which Yefim Bronfman performs the complete Beethoven Piano Concerto cycle.

This week features concertos Nos. 2 and 3, as well as the world premiere of Sean Shepherd Songs.

Program playlist:
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat major, Op. 19
Sean Shepherd: Songs (world premiere, New York Philharmonic commission)
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37

Comments [1]

Les from Miami, Florida

The homage and stylistic equivalency of Beethoven's Second Piano Concerto in B flat to the classical style was revealed in earnest by Mr. Bronfman and the Orchestra. Despite the downward-moving "Mannheim rocket" (the seven notes the orchestra play that begin the work), the classical sonata form is wholly in evidence in the non-forced orchestral tuttis and the light touch and absence of sustaining pedal employed in the solo part. The cadenza, exploring the possibilities of the "Mannheim rocket", was revealing and articulated well in the extreme. The Largo movement shone in the soft arpeggios the solo plays while the oboes, bassoons and horns carry the melodic material. I wished for more "...molto" in the last movement, "Molto allegro", as I similarly wished for more "...con brio" in the "Allegro con brio" first movement. The Third Piano Concerto in c minor elicited more jubilation from me in that the extroverted and thunder-invoking Beethoven was in evidence by the liberal use of sustaining pedal by Mr. Bronfman where appropriate in the tutti passages as well as in the Cadenzas. The Orchestra was in like mind in articulating Beethoven's intentional over-accentuation and missplaced accents. The first movement "Allegro con brio" was indeed that, as was the last movement "Rondo Allegro". As in the slow movement of the Second Concerto, the solo's arpeggio accompaniments to the flute and bassoon in the Largo movement were well articulated and at just the right dynamic (volume). I wonder if Beethoven had in mind Mozart's Concerto No. 24 K. 491 as regards his Third Concerto's opening and closing material. Mozart's first movement begins C, E flat, A flat; Beethoven's Third Concerto's last movement begins G, A flat, B (repeated 3 times) C; Beethoven's is C, E flat, G. Mozart's last movement of K. 491 begins G, E flat (repeated), D (repeated) C; Beethoven's opening of his Third Concerto is C, E flat G.

Jun. 07 2015 02:03 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.