Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major
Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, ‘Emperor’
Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Leif Ove Andsnes (piano/conductor)
Reviewed: 20 July, 2020
This evening we’ve another chance to hear a Prom from 2015 – Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra present Beethoven’s Second and Fifth piano concertos – the composer’s first and final experiments in the genre. In No 2, a spacious and gentle central adagio is framed with Mozartean grace in the outer movements, while the Fifth is the composer’s last word on the subject – a musical emancipation of the soloist that anticipates the Romantic concertos of Beethoven’s successors.
Opening tonight’s concert is Stravinsky’s Octet, written for wind ensemble. Looking to the musical past for inspiration once again, Stravinsky’s Neo-classical masterpiece pastiches the forms and textures of the 18th century, colouring them with a mood and mischief all his own.