Chopin: Four Mazurkas, op. 17

performed by Vladimir Ashkenazy, with the fourth below it played sublimely by Eric Lu (cover image by Jez Timms)   Chopin composed his op. 17 mazurkas between 1832 and 1833, and they were published in Leipzig in 1834. The composer … Continue reading Chopin: Four Mazurkas, op. 17

Mozart Piano Concerto no. 3 in D, K40

performed by either Ashkenazy/Philharmonia, or below by Perahia/English Chamber Ochestra Number three. The year is (still) 1767, and our little composer is still eleven years old. Everything is the same, except we get trumpets in addition to keyboard, strings, horns and oboes. Again, three movements, but none of which based on Raupach. Wikipedia says: The first movement is based on the initial movement of Honauer’s Op. 2, No. 1. The second on one by Johann Gottfried Eckard (op. 1, no. 4 ), the most famous keyboardist of his day. The third movement is based on C. P. E. Bach‘s piece … Continue reading Mozart Piano Concerto no. 3 in D, K40

Mozart Piano Concerto no. 1 in F, K37

performed by The Philharmonia Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy, (or the below with Murray Perahia and the English Chamber Orchestra) As mentioned yesterday, we’re starting a very long stretch of almost-daily posts, with lots of piano works by some very important composers.  For future reference, all Mozart concertos will be taken from the above-mentioned Ashkenazy/Philharmonia set. We begin today with the first of five Mozart piano concertos. This one was written when the young composer/pianist was eleven years old. It turns out these works were long considered to be original, but later found to be orchestrations of other German works. A … Continue reading Mozart Piano Concerto no. 1 in F, K37

Prokofiev Piano Concerto no. 2, op. 16

performed by the London Symphony Orchestra under Andre PrevinVladimir Ashkenazy, piano This was kind of Ashkenazy’s warhorse for a while I’m told. The Interwebs told me. This piece comes up often in the “hardest piano concerto ever” discussions that many an amateur like to have. I believe that comes from summing up the scope of the greatest challenge possible and putting things into perspective against it. Maybe. Anyway, Prok 2, Rach 2 and 3, Brahms 2, and Bartok 1 and 2 seem to be the ones that are most often agreed upon as being frighteningly, intensely difficult (obviously in different … Continue reading Prokofiev Piano Concerto no. 2, op. 16