Of course the Concertgebouworkest celebrates Ludwig van Beethovens’s 250th anniversary. None other than Krystian Zimerman is the soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, also known as the Emperor Concerto. Gustavo Gimeno is at the helm. The young Dutchman Christiaan Richter composed a contemporary reflection of Beethoven.
Beethoven’s Piano Concertos No. 4 and 5 proved how highly original the composer was. Both works met with misunderstanding and resistance in his time. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, also known as the Emperor Concerto, is an impressive construction containing many fine details, a shimmering glow and dark corners. For the early 19th-century audience, this was too much. Now, over two centuries later, all that counts is Beethoven’s towering inventive mind.
Krystian Zimerman is one of the greatest pianists of our time. He does not perform often - only when he feels he completely understands the essence of the score. For over thirty years he has studied Beethoven’s Concertos, leading to a carefully balanced approach and a clear vision. The conductor is Gustavo Gimeno, whose remarkable international career began with the Concertgebouworkest.
The young Dutchman Christiaan Richter composed his second work for the Concertgebouworkest: a companion piece to Beethoven’s concertos, more specifically the fourth, entitled 2270. ‘Doubling the anniversary time’ – 2270 will mark Beethoven’s 500th anniverary – implicates a whole range of questions, according to the composer: what is Beethoven’s relevance now and in the future? Have his political ideals been realised, are we getting closer, or do we seem to move away from them?’