From Haydn’s exquisite chamber concertos to Tchaikovsky and Beethoven’s monumental works, almost described as piano symphonies, these are the concertos you need to listen to right now as chosen by Classic FM presenters.
In no particular order, these are the Best Piano Concertos, Fidlar thinks you need to listen to right now or, better still, go and hear performed live. Right, get those headphones plugged in. Here we go.
Best Piano Concertos 2020
1. Messiaen: Turangalila
It is not known as a concerto, but Olivier Messiaen’s gargantuan ten-movement symphony to enjoy, sex, God, and the world features a solo piano component that could conquer any concerto on property. It was established in Boston in 1949, conducted by Leonard Bernstein, and has been composed for the French pianist Yvonne Loriod, whom Messiaen later wed.
Turangalîla combines diverse influences like Indian humor, Indonesian gamelan, and a synaesthetic mix of color with audio. Yvonne’s sister Jeanne Loriod was that this tool’s chief exponent. Love it or loathe it, Turangalîla stays a one-off encounter.
VIDEO: Messiaen: Turangalîla-Sinfonie ∙ hr-Sinfonieorchester ∙ Paavo Järvi
2. Busoni: Piano Concerto
Weighing in at 70 minutes and incorporating a male chorus in the last motion, just one of a mere couple of piano concertos that integrates this element, Ferruccio Busoni’s concerto, composed between 1901 and 1904, can lay claim to being among the greatest from the repertoire.
That extends into the orchestration, including triple woodwind and an extensive percussion section. Luckily, it doesn’t just amount that it provides, but quality also, but given the sheer weight of demand put on all worried, its performances are comparatively infrequent.
VIDEO: Busoni, Piano Concerto in C Major Op. 39
3. Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2
The piano repertoire’s colossus has topped with our yearly Classic FM Hall of Fame hunted by you, the listeners a substantial eight occasions because the graph first began in 1996. Rachmaninov composed the bit in 1900 after recovering from a bout of depression and writer’s block, and it’s come to be one of the best known and best-loved pieces. The soaring melodies are put to use.
VIDEO: Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2, Evgeny Kissin HD
4. Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor
The excellent Norwegian composer just finished one piano concerto, and it’s turned into one of the most recognized from the planet (thanks, in part, to the iconic comedy sketch from Morecambe and Wise). It was composed in 1868 when the composer was only 24 and opened with a stunning timpani roll followed by a few of the most well-known flourishes in classical songs. Hold on to your hats…
VIDEO: Arthur Rubinstein – Grieg – Piano Concerto in A minor, Op 16
5. Poulenc’s Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra
The French composer Francis Poulenc said of the concerto, “You’ll see for yourself exactly what a great step forward it’s in my prior work and that I’m entering my amazing period.” None for modesty, but to be honest, this concerto is infectiously wonderful. The work was composed in 1932, and also you will hear the effect of jazz music, which was hard and revolutionizing the classical music world.
VIDEO: Lucas & Arthur Jussen – Poulenc Concerto For Two Pianos | First Movement (2017)
6. Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 and No. 5 also
Composers have been attempting to conquer Beethoven for 200 decades. Few succeed. Deciding on the top of his five piano concertos is an unenviable job, so I propose the two his Fourth and concertos as equivalent crowning glories of this repertoire.
There’s something ineffable about Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, an inward, questing, exploratory work that’s simply exceptional. The slow-motion, where the piano matches the orchestra’s aggressive outbursts with clear manifestation, was likened allegedly by Franz Liszt to Orpheus taming the wild beasts.
It was established in 1808 with Beethoven himself in the piano (along with his student Carl Czerny reported the fantastic man’s performance comprised a lot more notes than he’d composed ).
Beethoven began composing his emperor’ Piano Concerto No. 5 5 in809, while Vienna was under invasion from Napoleon’s forces for the next time. The very first public performance of the concerto, in the Leipzig Gewandhaus, using Friedrich Schneider as a soloist in November 1811, created a strong impression and the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung reported, “It’s undoubtedly among the most original, inventive and powerful.
But also among the hardest of all present concertos.” Beethoven’s final piano concerto wasn’t a regretful farewell from one of his mythical skills at the tool had been foundering on the rocks of his deafness, but a surge of glory out of a composer whose ability for reinventing himself revealed itself in each bit. “I will seize fate by the throat,” he wrote to his childhood friend Franz Wegeler. “It will not completely conquer me. Oh, how amazing it’s to live a million times.” Maybe to compose, although his anguish was his ultimate way of defiance.
7. Mozart: Piano Concerto In C Minor, K491
Mozart’s 27 piano concertos include the largest body of piano concertos that nevertheless colonize our concert halls, although (scandalously) that a relatively small number are often performed. Just two are in a remote key, and though the D minor K466 is widespread.
The C minor is my favorite because of its broad emotional selection, its ceaseless stream of inspiration, along with its own highly complex writing not just for the piano but also the woodwind, which practically becomes soloists in their own right, treated at the slow-motion like an operatic ensemble.
VIDEO: Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491 (Mitsuko Uchida)
8. Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1
This concerto took two distinct kinds of the symphony, then two-piano sonata before settling down as a concerto. The fate of Robert Schumann had profoundly influenced it. Just months after he and Clara had expanded their friendship to the young genius out of Hamburg, Schumann endured a catastrophic breakdown, attempted suicide, and had been afterward incarcerated in a mental asylum for the remainder of his days, dying there in 1856.
The D minor concerto’s slow-motion was demonstrated to evoke the words “Benedictus quiet in Nomine Domini,” implying the job, finished in 1858, is Brahms’s private Requiem for his mentor. Additionally, hear Brahms’s enormous, great-hearted, and completely different Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major.
VIDEO: Brahms – Piano Concerto No. 1 | Hélène Grimaud, Piano [HD]
9. Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 2
Even though some of Prokofiev’s other piano concertos are more frequently performed, the Piano Concerto No. 2, among the best piano concertos, is your most private and, in psychological terms, has the most to say. This rocky, rugged, crushing piece is the job of a young and precocious composer and pianist (he had been about 22) confronted with a dreadful tragedy.
Among his closest buddies, Maximilian Schmidthof took his own life in 1913. Prokofiev had started working the bit, but its trajectory has been changed. As though this wasn’t bad enough, the manuscript was subsequently destroyed in a fire after the Russian Revolution of 1917, and Prokofiev needed to reconstruct it. Ultimately the premiere took place in 1924 in Paris, together with the composer because of its soloist.
VIDEO: Nikolai Lugansky – Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor
Premiered in 1845, with Clara Schumann in the piano and Felix Mendelssohn running, this was the only person of Robert Schumann’s efforts at a piano concerto, which made it into the final full-sized form. Its closeness, tenderness, and imaginative ebb and flow open a window to the composer’s mind and his loyalty to Clara, whom he’d wed in 1840. People of
Beethoven’emperor’ Concerto inspires the concluding movement’s catchy rhythms; the two functions call for a relative lightness, assault, clarity, and vitality.
11. Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.21
We are heading back into the classical age for our following concerto. Mozart’s utterly delightful Piano Concerto No.21 was composed in 1785. The terrific composer showed that the piece himself before treating the crowd to many famous improvisations. The second movement Andante, is probably the most well-known part of this item. Here’s a stunning performance
VIDEO: Mozart – Piano Concerto No.21, K.467 / Yeol Eum Son
12. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.3
Sitting directly at the middle of Beethoven’s string of piano concertos, the next is a bridge between the classical type of the two along with the virtuoso Romanticism of their last two. You will find impacts from Mozart but lots of renowned Beethovenian solo piano substance also, especially at the close of this initial movement
VIDEO: Krystian Zimerman – Beethoven – Piano Concerto No 3 in C minor, Op 37
13. Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.20
While Beethoven just wrote five piano concertos, Mozart was driven by a very respectable 23. Of course, Mozart’s were usually smaller and, it’d be fair to state, slighter functions. Mozart said of all the piano concertos,” To be able to win applause an individual has to write things that are so inane a coachman could sing it.” His 20th concerto, far from being inane, is among the composer’s most beautiful works.
VIDEO: Seong-Jin Cho – Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K.466 (2011)
14. Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major
Maurice Ravel claimed he created the subject with this beautiful piano concerto on a train between Oxford and London. In reality, he had been planning to get a light-hearted bit” in the soul of Mozart and Saint-Saëns.” However, as it was, the agonized over the job when he was composing it, especially one melody from the slow motion. “That flowing phrase!” he stated, “How I labored bar by bar! It almost killed me!”
VIDEO: Martha Argerich: Ravel – Piano Concerto in G Major | Nobel Prize Concert 2009