Emanuel Ax and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Mariss Jansons perform Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto. Partly because of the key, C minor, it is a – for that time – stormy, romantic composition.
The Piano Concerto No. 3 has nothing of the recalcitrant and uncompromising character of Beethoven’s other works in C minor: a piano concerto was always a relatively commercial work and was therefore required to appeal to a wide audience. It nonetheless has a darkly brooding first movement, a romantic and melodious second movement and a fiery finale. The orchestra has a more prominent role than in the first two concertos: it is not merely at the soloist’s service but an equal partner. Therefore the concerto as a whole has a more symphonic feel.
Emanuel Ax made his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1994, and returned to Amsterdam several times. The American pianist won the very first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv in 1974 and won the Avery Fisher Prize in the US five years later. Ax grew to become a versatile musician and travels all over the world giving recitals and performances with leading orchestras.