Piano Concerto No.2 in Bb major Opus 19 (1) Ludwig Van Beethoven Download 'Piano Concerto No.2 in Bb major Opus 19 (1)' on iTunes
Ronald Brautigam on piano joins Andrew Parrott and the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra on two great Beethoven's works
Repertoire: Piano Concerto No. 5; Choral Fantasia
Artists: Ronald Brautigam (pf), Norrköping Symphony Orchestra/ Andrew Parrott
Label: BIS (BIS-SACD-1793)
The Music No. 5 is the last of Beethoven’s piano concertos, and the grandest. Ever the innovator, Beethoven begins with flourishes on the piano, which however falls silent until it re-enters in traditional style after the orchestral introduction. The Choral Fantasia is a one-off, beginning with a piano solo and ending as a dry run for the Ninth Symphony.
The Performance The opening of the concerto is excellent: Parrott gets appropriately spacious playing from the orchestra, while the bell-like tone of Brautigam’s instrument – a Steinway Model D – helps to prevent the music from sounding too bombastic. The solo movement is a bit of a let-down, as a relatively fast tempo makes it seem matter-of-fact, but the Rondo goes with a swing. The Fantasia is even better. Brautigam could almost be Beethoven himself improvising, and from the moment he launches the big tune everything proceeds with a pleasing inevitability. Good singing, too.
The Verdict Not quite a top-notch account of the concerto, but well worth acquiring for the strange but stirring Fantasia.
Want More? Brautigam and Parrott have recorded the previous concertos on BIS: Nos. 1 & 3 on SACD-1692, No. 2 on SACD-1792 and No. 4 on SACD-1693.