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Long a favorite of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra audiences, Mario Venzago (pictured right) conducts the orchestra through Beethoven's sublime Piano Concerto No. 4 with the award winning Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire (pictured left). The evenings program also includes brings the spiritually uplifting Third Symphony of Bruckner.

Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto was premiered in March of 1807 at a private concert of the home of Prince Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz. The Coriolan Overture and the fourth symphony were premiered in that same concert. However, the public premiere was not until 22 December 1808 in Vienna at the Theater an der Wien. Beethoven again took the stage as soloist. This was part of a marathon concert which saw Beethoven's last appearance as a soloist with orchestra, as well as the premieres of the Choral Fantasy and the Fifth and Sixth symphonies. Beethoven dedicated the concerto to his friend, student, and patron, the Archduke Rudolph.

A review in the May 1809 edition of Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung states that "[this concerto] is the most admirable, singular, artistic and complex Beethoven concerto ever." After its first performance, the piece was neglected until 1836, when it was revived by Felix Mendelssohn. Today, the work is widely performed and recorded, considered one of the central works of the piano concerto literature - and one of the few that starts with solo piano.

Bruckner's Symphony No. 3 in D minor was dedicated to Richard Wagner and is sometimes known as his "Wagner Symphony". Although the premiere of the piece was not well received causing Bruckner to revise the music numerous times, it is considered to possess "a majestic momentum."

Friday, May 1, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. The Music Center at Strathmore
Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 3:00 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

Mario Venzago, conductor
Nelson Freire, piano

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4
Bruckner: Symphony No. 3 (1889 version)

Tickets range from $25-$85.
11 years ago | Read Full Story
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