Sir Antonio Pappano conducts Schumann and Beethoven — With Igor Levit

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

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Program notes

For the first time on, the extraordinary Igor Levit comes to your screens for an electrifying extragavanza at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw! The virtuoso immediately kicks things into high gear with an unforgettable performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, expertly navigating delicate melodic lines and virtuosic cadences. In the charged atmosphere following the concerto, the venue's illustrious ensemble—led by Sir Antonio Pappano—finishes the evening with Schumann's sublime and triumphant Second Symphony.

Beethoven began composing his third piano concerto in 1800, around the same time as his world-famous Eroica Symphony. This highly virtuosic work, while harking back to Classical structure, introduces elements that would later become fixtures of the early Romantic style of Beethoven's "middle period." The concerto is dedicated to Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, an accomplished pianist, and was premiered with the composer himself behind the keyboard, playing mainly from memory as he had not had the time to complete the transcription of his score!

Photo: Sir Antonio Pappano © Musacchio, Ianniello & Pasqualini, Igor Levit © Felix Broede

Antonio Pappano appears courtesy of Warner Classics.

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