Boris Giltburg

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1, Piano Concerto No. 2, Rondo WoO 6

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The piano concerto genre has enjoyed unabating popularity since its beginnings in the last third of the 18th century. Written to best showcase the soloist’s virtuosity and musicality, these concentrated, often extrovert works held great appeal for listeners, something which composers did not fail to notice. The genre came to an early peak in the works of Mozart, whose 23 original concerti showed a unique richness of structural variety and melodic inspiration, coupled with brilliant piano writing. Beethoven made his first attempt in the genre as a 14-year-old, in 1784, the same year in which Mozart, in an outburst of creativity, wrote six of his mature concerti one after another. The result was his Piano Concerto in E flat major, WoO 4--a fresh and pleasant work, though perhaps closer in spirit to the gallant style of early Classicism in its goodnaturedness and risk-free harmonies. (full sleeve notes)

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