10/02/2010

Berliner Philharmoniker
Sir Simon Rattle

Mitsuko Uchida

  • Ludwig van Beethoven
    Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major (00:34:04)

    Mitsuko Uchida Piano

  • Jean Sibelius
    Symphony No. 3 (00:32:28)

  • Ludwig van Beethoven
    Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor (00:42:56)

    Mitsuko Uchida Piano

  • free

    "A Venture - an Adventure" – Mitsuko Uchida and the Beethoven Concertos Part I (00:12:04)

Mitsuko Uchida and the Berliner Philharmoniker, under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle, perform two of Beethoven’s piano concertos on the one evening. They are both early works, which, after leaving Bonn, Beethoven used to establish himself with the Viennese public: as a virtuoso performer and composer who, in his music, struck a tone of unprecedented self-confidence.

The Second Piano Concerto in B flat major is chronologically actually No. 1 and was Beethoven’s first large-scale orchestral work. The style is still restrained, and is influenced by Haydn and Mozart. It is therefore all the more overwhelming when the bombshell hits, so to speak: when daring harmonic turns and unexpected energetic gestures reveal the composer’s creativity. The development of this style can be found in the Third Piano Concerto. Even the key of C minor points to the “heroic” Beethoven as we know him from pieces such as his Fifth Symphony.

The second work on the programme is a premiere: Sibelius’s Third Symphony, which has never before been performed by the Philharmoniker. The piece marks a turning point in the composer’s creative activity. It has indeed the unmistakably Nordic timbre typical of Sibelius. However, in contrast to its sumptuous late-Romantic predecessors, this Symphony comes across as purified and concentrated: modernism is entering the composer’s field of view.

EMISir Simon Rattle appears by kind permission of EMI Classics.

Mitsuko Uchida appears by kind permission of Decca Classics.