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- Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.5 (Emperor) Let’s start as we mean to go on. This is arguably the greatest work for piano and orchestra ever written – it’s nicknamed the Emperor for goodness’ sake.
- Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2. This colossus of the piano repertoire has topped our annual Classic FM Hall of Fame – voted by you, the listeners – a huge eight times since the chart first started in 1996.
- Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor. The great Norwegian composer only completed one piano concerto and it has become one of the most recognised in the world (thanks, in part, to this iconic comedy sketch by Morecambe and Wise).
- Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra. The French composer Francis Poulenc said of this concerto “You will see for yourself what an enormous step forward it is from my previous work and that I am really entering my great period.”
- Jessica Duchen
- 21 min
- Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 – and No. 5 too. Composers have been trying to beat Beethoven for 200 years. Few succeed. Choosing the best of his five piano concertos is an unenviable task – and so I suggest both his Fourth and Fifth concertos as equal crowning glories of the repertoire.
- Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2. Come on, don’t be mean – this concerto is perfect. It’s almost impossible to fault one page, one phrase, one note in one of the greatest piano concertos.
- Mozart: Piano Concerto In C Minor, K491. Mozart’s 27 piano concertos comprise the largest body of piano concertos that are regularly heard in concert halls, although (scandalously) a relatively small handful are regularly performed.
- Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1. This concerto took two different forms – symphony, then two-piano sonata – before settling down as a concerto. It was profoundly affected by the fate of Robert Schumann.
- Mozart Piano Concerto No 27. Piotr Anderszewski pf Chamber Orchestra of Europe. 'Anderszewski’s piano is right there in the middle of it, supporting, chattering away in passagework, never once hogging the spotlight at the expense of his first-desk soloists, and pulling gently against the pulse to coax maximum character from the music without compromising its shapely contours. ...'
- Beethoven Piano Concerto No 5. Paul Lewis pf BBC Symphony Orchestra / Jiří Bělohlávek. 'And so, all in all, these records take their place among the finest Beethoven piano concerto performances so that even when you recall beloved issues by Wilhelm Kempff, Emil Gilels, Radu Lupu and Murray Perahia (to name but four), Lewis ensures that you return refreshed and with a renewed sense of Beethoven’s range and beauty...'
- Brahms Piano Concerto No 1. Nelson Freire pf Gewandhaus Orchestra / Riccardo Chailly. 'This is the Brahms piano concerto set we’ve been waiting for. Nelson Freire and Riccardo Chailly offer interpretations that triumphantly fuse immediacy and insight, power and lyricism, and incandescent virtuosity that leaves few details unturned, yet always with the big picture in clear sight...'
- Schumann Piano Concerto. Leif Ove Andsnes pf BPO / Mariss Jansons. 'Andsnes is firmly supported by Jansons and the Berlin Philharmonic, with playing not just refined but dramatic too in fiercely exciting tuttis.
Jan 21, 2019 · The best recordings of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2; A guide to Beethoven's Symphony No. 5; Ravel Piano Concerto . A whip crack. Jazz-infused melodies. A soundworld taking inspiration from Basque and Spanish music. What’s not to enjoy? Ravel’s concerto manages to achieve real emotional depth while also giving us the perfect party piece.