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symphonic

VFO / PAPPANO / LIM

Beethoven, Bruckner

Antonio Pappano conducts the VFO in Beethoven’s fifth and final piano concerto, featuring 2022 Cliburn Gold Medallist Yunchan Lim, followed by Bruckner’s final, mighty Ninth Symphony.

Programme

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major Op. 73 “Emperor”

Interval

ANTON BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphony No. 9 in D minor

Premiered in 1811, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 ‘Emperor’ was his last, written during Napoleon’s bombardment of Vienna, and carrying that martial flavour in its key of E flat – the same as for his ‘Eroica’ Symphony No. 3 – and in its piano writing’s virtuosic brilliance. It was also structurally bold, including the unprecedented scale of its opening Allegro, and the way its limpid slow movement tips seamlessly into its final Rondo. Written between 1891 and his 1886 death, Bruckner’s final Ninth Symphony – dedicated to ‘dear God’ – is cast in the same D minor key as Beethoven’s Ninth. Powerful climaxes and a lack of resolution characterise the first two movements; there’s even tension to the Scherzo second’s central trio of dancing strings and flute birdsong. Yet while the Adagio third (which has become the finale, the fourth movement being left uncompleted) opens painfully yearning, it moves to E major peace.

 

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