Piano concerto 2 – Beethoven, c and G

Two Beethoven concertos – Nos. 3, in c (Op. 37, c.1800) & 4 in G (Op. 58, c. 1805) – their composition separated by approximately five years.

They’re very different pieces. Two examples: the Third starts with (what was then) the traditional long orchestral introduction before the entry of the soloist; while the Fourth – a revolution in the whole concept of the concerto – starts with a quiet passage for unaccompanied piano (a gesture that must have seriously flummoxed the audience at the first performance!)

Then there are the contrasting slow movements; the Third moves in a serene but tonally remote E-major; while the Fourth, in e-minor (the relative minor of the home key of G), takes the form of a dialogue between troubled strings and a muted, soothing piano.

Two distinguished performances: Krystian Zimerman plays the Third; Mitsuko Uchida the Fourth:

I. Allegro con brio1:34
II. Largo18:28
III. Rondo Allegro 30:20


[00:11] I. Allegro moderato
[20:50] II. Andante con moto
[25:39] III. Rondo (Vivace)