Beethoven wrote his Piano Concerto No. 3 around 1800, at a time in which the ambitious composer had created his fi rst important works in Vienna, such as the “Pathétique” Sonata and the “Moonlight” Sonata – personal works full of power and passion, with which he distanced himself from his mentor and model, Haydn. This performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under the direction of its principal conductor Mariss Jansons stars the distinguished pianist Mitsuko Uchida, who is known the world over for her outstanding interpretations of the piano works of Schubert, Mozart and Beethoven, as well as of 20th-century masters such as Schoenberg, Berg, Webern and Boulez.
Richard Strauss wrote his tone poem for large orchestra Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life) in 1898, shortly before he left Munich for the Berlin Court Opera, where he was appointed house conductor. In the imaginary hero whose eventful life is described in the work, the young Strauss apparently envisioned the freelance artist of his time, who was exposed to considerable hostility during the Wilhelminian era, just as Strauss himself in his early Munich period.
“[Uchida's] firmness and clarity of articulation [are] ideal, every phrase beautifully shaped as well as placed carefully within the larger context of each movement as a whole...Jansons is inclined, perhaps, to underplay slightly the more outrageous aspects of Strauss's hyper-lavish scoring...but the stability and expansiveness of the sonic fabric he draws from his players more than makes up for it”
21st October 2013
“Uchida’s playing is delightful and full of deft touches. She plays with strength when required but the chief impression left with the listener is of grace and flair...Jansons visibly revels in both the music and the sound of his orchestra - and why not?”
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