BEETHOVEN PIANO CONCERTO NO. 3
Beethoven’s mighty “Third” tamed by a pianistic giant of our time, Mitsuko Uchida
In this performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of its principal conductor Mariss Jansons, the soloist is the distinguished star pianist Mitsuko Uchida, who is known the world over for her outstanding interpretations of the piano works of Schubert, Mozart and Beethoven, as well as of 20th-century masters such as Schoenberg, Berg, Webern and Boulez. She wrote recording history with her complete recordings of all the piano sonatas and concertos of Mozart as well as all the Schubert sonatas.
Conductor Mariss Jansons also heads the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam. His many honors include an “ECHO Klassik” award as “conductor of the year” in 2007 and the designation as “conductor of the year 2011” by 50 international music critics surveyed by the trade journal “Opernwelt.” Moreover, the Orchestra itself was hailed as one of the top ten orchestras in the world by the UK journal “Gramophone.” “They [the BRSO] play every concert as if it were their last. For me as conductor, it’s like driving a Rolls-Royce,” says Jansons.
Beethoven wrote his Piano Concerto No. 3 around 1800, at a time in which the ambitious composer had created his first important works in Vienna, such as the “Pathétique” Sonata and the “Moonlight” Sonata – personal works full of power and passion, with which he distanced himself from his mentor and model, Haydn. The key of C minor – the key of his later dramatic Fifth Symphony – already points to the “new” Beethoven. Moreover, the role of the orchestra had changed fundamentally. While in the two preceding concertos the orchestra’s function was essentially that of subservient accompanist to the virtuoso soloist, in the Third, the orchestra attains a symphonic expression and an independent significance in its concertizing dialogue with the piano solo. Beethoven played the solo part at the first performance of the work on 5 April 1803 in a subscription concert held at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna.