L. V. Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37 (1800) 34’
Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 12 in D minor, Op. 112 (1959-1961) 38’
Spanish National Orchestra (ONE)
Seong-Jin Cho, piano
David Afkham, conductor
Piano Concerto No. 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven opens one of those wounds in the history of musical genres that never closes, one that has a decisive impact on the future. The culmination of his early stage as a composer, it is a highly personal work, heralding the direction that his forthcoming work would take. It begins in ground-breaking, dynamic style, with high virtuoso skill, before giving way to a largo: an intimate passage of lyric beauty that contrasts with the final rondo. A work that was regarded as an extravagance by 1803 Vienna audiences, it offers the keys to understanding everything that would happen afterwards in music for piano and orchestra.
Symphony No. 12 by Shostakovich is very much a programme symphony, closely linked to Symphony No. 11, and it bears a subtitle (“The Year 1917”) and a dedication (“In memory of Vladimir Lenin”) that leave no room for ambiguity. So strong is its narrative that it is almost a symphonic comment on the overthrow of the Russian monarchy, and through the resources deployed by the orchestra, specific scenes from the Russian Revolution are painted. With its literal musical quotes and allusions, it bears witness to the 20th century and to Soviet musical legacies.