Nationally acclaimed pianist Lee Luvisi and the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra perform the Rondo/Allegro final movement of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, known as the “Emperor” Concerto.
Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) is one of the most famous and influential composers of all time. His work bridged the Classical and Romantic periods. His works are considered the apex of Classical forms such as the symphony, but the emotional nature of his work and his “all or nothing” approach to his artistry align him with the beginnings of Romanticism.
Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany, into a musical family. Both his grandfather and father were court musicians, and young Ludwig gave his first concert when he was seven. He published his first composition in 1782.
However, the young artist faced family difficulties as well. Beethoven’s mother died when he was a teenager, and his father was often abusive, especially after the mother’s death.
Beethoven wrote many types of works, including concertos, sonatas, string quartets, choral works, and symphonies. His nine symphonies are considered some of the very symphonies ever written. His 6th symphony broke with traditional ground in that it was a “program work,” that is, it was a symphony about something, in this case a day in the countryside. It is known as the “Pastoral Symphony.”
Beethoven began to lose his hearing in the late 1790s. By 1824, when his 9th and last symphony premiered, he was completely deaf. He could not hear the thunderous applause, and a friend had to make his turn around and face the audience to see their enthusiastic reaction. When Beethoven died in 1827, more than 20,000 people came to his funeral.
Beethoven wrote the Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major in 1809. It was the last piano concerto he wrote. The piece later became known as the “Emperor” Concerto because of its grandeur, bold melodies, and heroic spirit.