Beethoven: The 5 Piano Concertos / Haochen Zhang, Stutzmann, Philadelphia Orchestra
As one of the finest pianists of his era and an improviser of genius, Ludwig van Beethoven’s preferred vehicle for musical exploration was the piano. With his five piano concertos composed between 1788 and 1809, he not only achieved a brilliant conclusion to the Classical piano concerto, but also established a new model for the Romantic era: a sort of symphony with obbligato piano which was to remain a reference point well into the twentieth century. After the first two concertos, which still closely follow the models of Haydn and Mozart, Concerto No. 3 marks a profound stylistic change. In the piano part, Beethoven pushes the instrument to its limits, leading commentators to remark that he was writing for the piano of the future. This trend continued and reached its fullness in the Fourth and Fifth Concertos, which today rank among the great composer’s most admired works.
In 2009, Haochen Zhang was the youngest pianist ever to receive the Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Since then he has captivated audiences worldwide with a unique combination of deep musical sensitivity, fearless imagination and spectacular virtuosity. He now performs the five Beethoven concertos supported by the prestigious Philadelphia Orchestra under its principal guest conductor, the charismatic Nathalie Stutzmann.
In a crowded pool of complete Beethoven piano concerto recordings, young Chinese pianist Haochen Zhang makes an impressive splash with his traversal of one of the most imposing cycles in the entire repertoire. With French conductor Nathalie Stutzmann leading the Philadelphia Orchestra, Zhang deftly handles Beethoven’s fiendish runs and cadenzas throughout these five imposing works. Most memorable are the 3rd and 4th concertos, which have the most balance between urgency and delicacy.
-- The Flip Side
Release Date: October 07, 2022
Catalog Number: BIS-2581
Number of Discs: 3
Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor: Nathalie Stutzmann
Orchestra/Ensemble: The Philadelphia Orchestra
Performer: Haochen Zhang