Beethoven ’s fifth and final piano concerto blazes with majesty and energy, its three movements ranging from transcendence to triumph. Cast in the heroic key of E flat major, this 1811 concerto is full of confidence and joy – listening to it can’t fail to lift one’s spirits.
- 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.”
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- Jessica Duchen
- 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 still colonise our 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.
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 ...
- Harpsichord Concerto No. 1, BWV 1052. Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach. Time: 1685-1750. Bach created this brilliant and amazing concerto, originally scoring it for the solo violin and later for the harpsichord.
- No. 4, G Major, Op. 58 Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven. Time: 1805-06. This piece is often considered Beethoven’s finest concerto. The masterpiece provides a perfect meeting of melody and development.
- Piano Concerto No. 21, C Major, K. 467. Composer: W. A. Mozart. Time: 1785. Mozart is known for carefree, happy compositions and this one does not let the listener down.
- Piano Concerto No. 1, D Minor. Composer: Johannes Brahms. Time: 1881. The piano is balanced within the orchestra as an equal partner in this masterpiece by Brahms.