Hannes Minnaar / Jan Willem de Vriend / The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra
Piano Concertos nos. 1 & 2
- Type SACD
- Label Challenge Classics
- UPC 0608917271225
- Catalog number CC 72712
- Release date 03 February 2016
About the album
Before we listen to the young Dutch pianist Hannes Minnaar play Beethoven’s first two piano concertos, it is perhaps interesting to see how another young pianist may have played them once, long ago – a German who lived in Vienna, a headstrong and temperamental genius. His name? Ludwig van Beethoven. His pupil, the famous composer of etudes and sensitive observer Carl Czerny, once described his playing: “[...] characterised by passionate strength, alternated with all the charm of a smooth cantabile. The expressiveness is often intensified to extremes, particularly when the music tends towards humour [...] Passages become extremely daring by use of the pedal [...] His playing does not possess that clean and brilliant elegance of certain other pianists. On the other hand, it was spirited, grand and, especially in the adagio, filled with emotion and romanticism.” Strength. Smoothness. Humour. Focus on these aspects and you will come close to Beethoven. Minnaar, De Vriend and The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra play the concertos in reverse order: first 2, then 1.Artistically, it is highly defensible: introduced as it were by the more balanced, more modest Piano Concerto no. 2, no. 1 radiates all the more festiveness (trumpets, clarinets and tympani have come to join the orchestra). Perhaps the lovely, gentle, almost feminine B flat major of Concerto no. 2 would not have been able to hold its own after the male and martial C major. But there is something else. You see, Piano Concerto no. 2 actually came first. It was composed earlier, at least in its initial version.
11Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major Op. 19 Allegro con brio
12Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major Op. 19 Adagio
13Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major Op. 19 Rondo: Allegro molto
14Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major Op. 15 Allegro con brio
15Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major Op. 15 Largo
16Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major Op. 15 Rondo: Allegro
Of course you have spotted it already: the new 3-cd box with the complete piano concertos of Ludwig van Beethoven performed by pianist Hannes Minnaar, the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra and conductor Jan Willem de Vriend. The only thing that was missing, after the first two albums in this series, was the Third Piano Concerto, and now the recordings are complete and put together in a fine box, but the concerto ...