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Thread: Favourite 10 Piano Concertos

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    Default Favourite 10 Piano Concertos

    There is a separate thread in this section concerning favourite concertos, but it has got muddled up with different instruments and is quite old now.

    This one is only concerned with piano concertos. My top 10 are:

    1. Piano Concerto No. 5 "Emperor" in E flat major - Ludwig Van Beethoven
    2. Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major - Ludwig Van Beethoven
    3. Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    4. Piano Concerto in A minor - Robert Schumann
    5. Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor - Johannes Brahms
    6. Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    7. Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor - Sergei Rachmaninoff
    8. Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor - Ludwig Van Beethoven
    9. Piano Concerto in A minor - Edvard Grieg
    10. Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor - Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    .......

    If you can't rank your lists just say so, and if you don't have as many as 10 just put down as many as you have. Once we have 10 results I'll work out a combined preference list.



    Topaz
    Last edited by Topaz; Jan-13-2007 at 06:47.

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    Senior Member Hexameron's Avatar
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    1. Beethoven - No. 5
    2. Beethoven - No. 4
    3. Brahms - No. 1
    4. Brahms - No. 2
    5. Liszt - Totentanz
    6. Henselt - No. 1
    7. Mendelssohn - No. 2
    8. Chopin - No. 1
    9. Tchaikovsky - No. 1
    10. Rachmaninov - No. 2

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    Brahms 1
    Tchaikovsky
    Rachmaninov 3
    Beethoven 3
    Mozart 20
    Prokofiev 1
    Bartok 1
    Bartok 3
    Ravel (left hand)
    Poulenc

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    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    Thanks for the afterthought, Topaz, cause you know I can't rank them exactly. I will attempt some "tiers". If that throws your analysis a little, apologies in advance.

    Also, I don't recall realizing that the Emperor concerto was your favourite. I am performing that on February 2nd with Czech Pianist Michal Rezek, who played the 3rd in 2005, the 4th in 2006 and now finally the 5th in 2007.

    A question for Hexameron... why do you like Totentanz more than Liszt's concertos?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So here is my short list.

    Favourite
    Beethoven 3

    2nd tier
    Mozart 20
    Mozart 21
    Rachmaninov Paganini Rhapsody

    3rd tier
    Beethoven 5
    Shostakovich 2 (the one without the solo trumpet)
    Schumann
    Rachmaninov 3

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    Kurki: You're doing very well these days. Eight selections already, my life!!!

    Let's have another two, to make the ten.

    You're quite right, noting that my tastes regarding piano concertos may have changed, but not quite as much as you suggest. Beethoven 5 is going to my grave with me.

    This flexibility merely shows how open to persuasion I am by good argument, like that of which you are so capable. On the other hand, it could be that I just make mistakes every now and then.

    Seriously, like anyone, I do find it difficult to rank them. I need scope for 20 to capture the whole lot that I really like, but I thought that may be too high a number to expect all others to match.


    Topaz

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    Senior Member Hexameron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurkikohtaus View Post

    A question for Hexameron... why do you like Totentanz more than Liszt's concertos?
    Perhaps I made a mistake listing Totentanz since it's technically not a piano concerto but a single movement work for orchestra and piano. Either way, though, I prefer the Totentanz over Liszt's PCs because I find each variation of the Dies irae perfect. Each variation employs a new device or a new idea. I find the percussive power of the intense opening a plus. There is some beautiful polyphony and tender expressions in the middle. And the diabolic grandeur and virtuosity that concludes the piece is always thrilling to my ears. I think I also prefer a dominating piano solo part in my concerti, which the Totentanz has. Lastly, I've seen this performed live, so perhaps that helps its ranking.

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    Junior Member sinfonia espansiva's Avatar
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    1.Ravel : PC in G
    2.Beethoven : Triple C (does it count?)
    3.Shostakovich 1 (for piano & trumpet)
    4.R.Strauss Burleske
    5.Haydn 11
    6.Schumann
    7.Shostakovich 2
    8.Beethoven 4
    9.Beethoven 5
    10. Liszt Totentanz

    But there are many symphonies, many violin concertos and many chamber works I prefer to most of these works

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    Beethoven's triple concerto is not usually regarded as a piano concerto. It's not a violin or cello concerto either. If anything it's more of a strings concerto I would guess, so it's best not to include here. Can you pick another?

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    Mozart's 20th
    Mozart's 19th
    Beethoven's 5th
    Beethoven's 4th
    Mozart's 21st
    Rachmaninov's- 2nd
    Brahms'- 2nd
    Brahms'- 1st
    Ravel- Concert in G
    Rachmaninov- 3rd

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hexameron View Post
    Perhaps I made a mistake listing Totentanz since it's I prefer I find the percussive power of the intense opening a plus.
    Hi Hexameron. Have you ever heard the Totentanz played by Jose Vianna da Motta? The opening in that recording is completely non-standard. Check the mp3 attached to this post

    Back to the topic. I can't understand nobody named the concerto that, IMO, is the most perfect one, carrying beautiful melodies, developed and assembled with full crafstmanship; and hard as hell for both the soloist and the orchestra:

    Camille Saint-Saëns: Piano concerto Nº 5. My top 10 list of piano concertos may fluctuate, but this one is always there.

    At this time, the list would be:

    Saint-Saëns: piano concerto Nº 5
    Rachmaninov: piano concerto Nº 3
    Tchaikovsky: piano concerto Nº 1
    Liszt: piano concerto Nº 1
    Brahms: piano concerto Nº 2
    Prokofiev: piano concerto Nº 3
    Mozart: Nº 20
    Beethoven: Nº 5
    Bach: Nº 1 (BWV 1052) (Let some baroque populate the list )
    Chopin: Nº 1

    Manuel

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    Senior Member Hexameron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manuel View Post
    Hi Hexameron. Have you ever heard the Totentanz played by Jose Vianna da Motta? The opening in that recording is completely non-standard. Check the mp3 attached to this post
    I haven't heard this interpretation; it's fascinating how a tempo difference or change of accents can completely transform the work. That opening sounds darker, but I still prefer the intensity of the chord-pounding Dies Irae found in most renditions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hexameron View Post
    I haven't heard this interpretation; it's fascinating how a tempo difference or change of accents can completely transform the work. That opening sounds darker, but I still prefer the intensity of the chord-pounding Dies Irae found in most renditions.
    Agree. The da Motta one is mostly an anecdotical thing. For the fiercy ones I would list André Watts and Nelson Freire. Just like knocking in the doors of Hell.

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    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 - The Emperor

    I just performed this piece for the first time on Friday February 2nd 2007, West Bohemian Symphony Orchestra Marienbad with Michal Rezek as the soloist. This concert completed my joint venture with Rezek to play all the Beethoven Concertos, and I was shocked to find that it is by far the easiest one to conduct, and the easiest one in terms of ensemble (i.e. balancing the orchestra with the piano dynamically and rhythmically).

    The first two concertos have balance issues, the third and fourth are relatively difficult to put together rhythmically (compared to Mozart or Mendelssohn concertos), but the fifth, it just starts and keeps going, and the orchestral part is written in a very clever and natural way that all the instruments simply "work". The reason I was surprised by this is that it is by no means the simplest in terms of structure, musical idea, and difficulty for the soloist. Arguments can be made that it is the most advanced in all of these areas and more.

    But the end product in performance is that it is startlingly easy for the orchestra and conductor to accompany the soloist, given of course that he can play the notes...

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    Prokofiev 3rd Concerto
    Medtner 1st Concerto
    Schumann Concerto
    Beethoven 'Emperor'
    Chopin 1st Concerto
    Tchaikowsky 1st Concerto
    Rachmaninov 2nd Concerto
    Rachmaninov 3rd Concerto
    Mendelssohn 2nd Concerto
    Grieg Concerto

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    Here is my list:

    1. Beethoven - Piano Concerto no.5 'Emperor'. Beethoven's greatest concerto and surely the greatest ever. Stunning power and creativity throughout.
    2. Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no.1. An iconic romantic masterpiece - utterly absorbing, from the famous, majestic opening until the very last note. Pure genius.
    3. Brahms Piano Concerto no.1. A massively powerful masterpiece; dark, brooding and magnificent.
    4. Brahms Piano Concerto no.2. Basically, a great romantic symphony written as a concerto. The slow movement is one of most beautiful in all music.
    5. Rachmaninov Piano Concerto no.2. After the Tchaikovsky, the most popular romantic concerto, and rightly so. Crammed with warm, passionate melodies.
    6. Mozart Piano Concerto no.21. His most iconic work, and simply a typical, exuberant Mozart masterpiece, full of the joy of life, crowned by an ineffably beautiful slow movement of pure dreamlike bliss.
    7. Mozart Piano Concerto no.23. In my opinion, the most perfect of all Mozart concertos.
    8. Mozart Piano Concerto no.27. Hauntingly beautiful and moving throughout.
    9. Chopin Piano Concerto no.1. The first great romantic concerto. The piano dominates throughout, phrasing some of the most beautiful of melodies.
    10. Rachmaninov Piano Concerto no.3. The last great romantic piano concerto. All of the composer's best qualities lie in this work - tuneful, nostalgic and full of virtuoso piano showmanship.
    Last edited by MarkLV; Feb-04-2007 at 01:54.

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