Performance Today

Beethoven's 'Emperor' Concerto

Sketches from the first movement of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 (Emperor Concerto)Morgan Library & Museum, NYC, NY - via Wikimedia Commons

March 26, 2021

When Napoleon's army attacked Vienna in 1809, Beethoven took cover in a basement. When he emerged, he found that his piano and the music he'd been working on were still intact. He got right back to it and finished the piece. On today's show, hear a composition that survived Napoleon troops: the Piano Concerto No. 5, widely known as the Emperor Concerto, by Ludwig van Beethoven..

Episode Playlist

Hour 1

Frederic Chopin: Prelude No. 2 & 4
Pieter Wispelwey, cello; Dejan Lazic, piano
Chopin, Cello Waltzes, vol.1 Pieter Wispelwey
Channel Classics 16298

Adolphus Hailstork: Arabesques
Alicia McQuerrey, flute; Matthew McClung, percussion
St Paul Chamber Orchestra, Sundin Hall, Hamline University, Saint Paul, MN

Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto in G minor, RV 576
Tempesta di Mare; Gwyn Roberts & Richard Stone, Directors | Emlyn Ngai, Concertmaster
Tempesta di Mare Philadelphia Concert Series, Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, Philadelphia, PA

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat, Op. 73 'Emperor': Movements 2-3
Dejan Lazic, piano; NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra; Krzysztof Urbanski, conductor
Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festival, St. George's Church, Wismar, Germany

Hour 2

Claude Debussy: Arabesque No. 1
Helene Grimaud, piano
DG 29051

Edward Elgar: Serenade for strings, Op. 20
Taiwan Music Academy and Festival String Orchestra
Taipei Music Academy & Festival (TMAF), National Concert Hall, Taipei, Taiwan

Erich Korngold: Passover Psalm
Emily Magee, soprano; Bavarian Radio Chorus; Munich Radio Orchestra; Michael Glaser and Marcello Viotti, conductors
Zemlinsky, Korngold, Bloch: Psalms / Viotti
Profil 4036

Maurice Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major
Helene Grimaud, piano; Los Angeles Philharmonic; Lionel Bringuier, conductor
Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA