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Pierre's Tuesday Blog

Beethoven - Radu Lupu • Zubin Mehta • Israel PO ‎– Piano Concertos No.1 & 2

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This week’s Vinyl’s Revenge is part of our #Beethoven2020 series and features Romanian pianist Radu Lupu in a pair of Beethoven piano concertos, taken from his Beethoven cycle recorded with the Israel Philharmonic in the early days of the DIgital era.

Beethoven’s early career in Vienna, where he settled in 1792 after leaving his native Bonn, established him first of all as a pianist. He had already tackled a piano concerto in 1784, at the age of fourteen, but Piano Concerto No.1 in C major, the third attempted and the second completed, was ready for the composer’s own use by 1795. It was revised in 1800, but is thought by some to have had its first performance either in March or December 1795.

There is, however, some disagreement on the identification of the concerto played on these occasions. Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat major was in existence at the time, having been started in the later 1780s in Bonn, but underwent various further revisions in the following years, reaching its final form, it would seem, in 1798.

As am Amazon reviewer puts it, “Radu Lupu is a once in a lifetime musician, meaning someone like he only appears to us mere mortals briefly allowing us to hear his genius and the beauty of that genius.” Hard to disagree!

Happy listening!

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770- 1827)
Piano Concerto no. 1 in C Major, Op. 15
Piano Concerto no. 2 in B Flat Major, Op. 19
Radu Lupu, piano
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Zubin Mehta, conducting
Recorded March 1979 in the Mann Auditorium, Tel Aviv

London Records ‎– LDR 10006
Format: Vinyl, LP, Stereo (DDA)
Released: 1980

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