Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bravura and ritornello

May 2, 2008 11:19 PM

Bravura and ritornello

This was taken when I was in Nashville last weekend.

Tonight I heard the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra perform the Beethoven Emperor concerto, and it is the emperor of all concertos! So subtle, so beautiful - exquisite!

To me, a piano concerto is sort of like this image. Contrast dramatically represented by bravura and ritornello, subject and bokeh.
You have the subject in the foreground, the piano (or the flower, the keys perhaps are represented by the stamens), and then the bokeh or background, magnificent in its own right, is the orchestra itself, providing drama, and giving the whole of the image/concerto a spectacular full body and appeal!

Ralph Vaughn Williams : Symphony No. 4 in F minor

Ludwig van Beethoven : Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 73, "Emperor"

Yan Pascal Tortelier conductor
Horatio GutiƩrrez piano
Maestro Tortelier introduced the Williams symphony with a very entertaining walk through dialog.

You will be able to hear this program yourself, if you are patient, in about a year, on a Sunday afternoon at 4pm EST on this radio station (you can listen online):

Here is another performance of the same concerto

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