This release concludes Boris Giltburg’s 0-5 edition of Beethoven’s Complete Piano Concertos. As on previous volumes in the series, he’s accompanied by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko.
‘Of all Beethoven’s piano concertos, it was No. 3 in C minor which left the strongest and most immediate impression on me as a child. The tangible tension of the dark, taut opening was electrifying, the inevitable fortissimo explosions awesome, the irresistible energy of the tutti passages exhilarating, and the sepulchral entrance of the orchestra at the end of the first movement mesmerising and chilling.
The Fourth Concerto is the most poetic and possibly the least extrovert of the five. While hardly lacking in pianistic brilliance – in fact, I would rank it as the most challenging of Beethoven’s concerti in terms of sheer technical difficulty – it is the poetry, suffusing every note, which seems to me to leave the biggest mark on both listeners and performers.’
– Boris Giltburg
For 19th-century audiences Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 was the most loved of all his piano concertos, a work in which the balancing of high drama, tenderness, lyricism and humour is most pronounced and in which a coda resolves inner tensions with brilliance and triumphant grandeur. Piano Concerto No. 4 is the most introspective and poetic of the concertos. The simplicity of its opening piano statement gives way to an unprecedented dialogue in the central movement between a heartfelt piano and an austere unison string orchestra, before the infectious energy of the dramatic finale.