Javier Perianes to perform complete cycle of Beethoven’s piano concertos at Royal Festival Hall over two consecutive nights with London Philharmonic Orchestra and Juanjo Mena (22 & 23 February 2019)
Over the past quarter century, Javier Perianes has developed a deep affinity for Beethoven’s music. The Spanish pianist’s compelling Beethoven interpretations have won critical acclaim for their striking individuality and vision and opened fresh perspectives on some of the best-known works in the classical canon. He is set to explore the composer’s complete piano concertos at the Royal Festival Hall in partnership with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Juanjo Mena. Their collaboration begins on Friday 22 February 2019 with Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2, 3 & 4 and continues on Saturday 23 February with Piano Concerto Nos.1 & 5 ‘Emperor’.
“To be a part of such a special project with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall is a true honour and privilege,” comments Javier Perianes. “And to do it with a conductor I admire both musically and personally as much as Juanjo Mena makes this wonderful project even more special for me.”
The cycle follows naturally from the success of Perianes’ performance of Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with the LPO in April 2015. “It was an extraordinary experience,” he recalls. “This was my first collaboration with Robin Ticciati and the first time I played Beethoven with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. We enjoyed working together very much and I have wonderful memories of that concert.” Beethoven’s piano concertos, he adds, have been part of his core repertoire for many years. “I first performed the third and fourth concertos over 20 years ago and have also had the chance to perform all five as a complete set. Experience, constant work and the passing of time have deepened my relationship with these masterpieces, although this will always be a continuous, unending process. One should enjoy every step of the way, every new detail or idea that arises.”
Javier Perianes’ recording of four of Beethoven’s piano sonatas for Harmonia Mundi, comprising early to late works, was praised by BBC Music Magazine for its ‘freshness and individuality’, while The West Australian celebrated the ‘confrontational, tempestuous, lyrical and joyful’ qualities of his recent interpretation of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.3 with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and Simone Young. The pianist looks forward to the creative possibilities of his Beethoven cycle with the LPO and to the prospect of performing each of the five concertos with one of the world’s leading orchestras.
“To explore the full set of Beethoven concertos means a great opportunity to go through the composer’s different periods of composition, to observe the evolution of his writing for piano in dialogue with orchestra,” observes Perianes. “The influence of Haydn and Mozart in the first two concertos, for example, the Third’s more dramatic aspects, the Fourth’s lyricism and improvisation, and the Fifth’s grandiosity. To have had the chance to visit the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn several times and examine closely his autograph manuscripts, letters, conversation letters there has made me admire Beethoven and his work all the more: he never stopped innovating, marching forward in search of new paths, all the while keeping fiercely loyal to his character. That is what makes performing these works the journey of a lifetime.”