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On this hybrid SACD the talented young Dutch soloist Hannes Minaar performs Beethoven’s Fourth and Fifth Piano Concertos, two of the greatest works of the genre. The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Jan Willem de Vriend.
Ludwig van Beethoven wrote five piano concertos in all. The last two, No. 4 in G major and No. 5 in E flat major, known as the ‘Emperor’, were written in 1806 and 1809 respectively. Both works are considered to represent the culmination of the Beethoven’s art as a composer. Dutch pianist Hannes Minnaar received international acclaim after winning prizes at the Geneva International Music Competition in 2008 and the Queen Elizabeth Competition in 2010. He graduated with the highest distinction from the Amsterdam Conservatory in 2009 and took master classes with Alfred Brendel, Willem Brons, Menahem Pressler and Ferenc Rados. At the age of 17 Minnaar made his debut with the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Alessandro de Marchi, and since then he has performed with amongst others the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, working with conductors such as Marin Alsop, Herbert Blomstedt, Frans Brüggen, Eliahu Inbal, and Edo de Waart. He made his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto in 2013. Minnaar’s critically-acclaimed debut album as a soloist was released on Etcetera Records and featured music by Ravel and Rachmaninov. In December 2011 Gramophone magazine selected him as a “One to Watch” artist. He is also active as a chamber musician and is a co-founder of the award-winning Van Baerle Trio.
Jan Willem de Vriend and the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra have previously made an acclaimed series of recordings of all the Beethoven Symphonies for Challenge Classics, available on five single CDs and also as a box set (CC72550).
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58
I. Allegro moderato
II. Andante con moto
III. Rondo (Vivace)
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E Flat Major, Op. 73
I. Allegro in E Flat Major
II. Adagio un poco mosso in B Major
III. Rondo - Allegro ma non troppo in E Flat Major
“Characterful accounts of Beethoven's final two piano concertos from a young Dutch pianist already making an impressive mark. His lively grace is matched by the sensitive Netherlands musicians and De Vriend”
“These are highly characterful readings from all parties - and not in a gimmicky sense…the first movement of the Fifth is distinctly more playful than many readings, which…fits with the visceral immediacy of the orchestra's sound world”