A Beethoven Night in the Zaryadye Hall

February 25, 2024 | Zaryadye Hall
Soloist – Ekaterina Mechetina, piano
Conductor – Vladimir Spivakov
Beethoven. Concerto No. 5 for piano and orchestra in E-flat major, Op. 73
Beethoven. Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92


Vladimir Spivakov and the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia are offering a monographic Ludwig van Beethoven program to music lovers. The great German composer is one of the most loved authors of the maestro and his collective; his works became part of the NPR's repertoire from its very first season, while in 2020 Vladimir Spivakov dedicated a grand concert series to the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth. In various years, the orchestra has performed all concertos by the Viennese classic (five piano concertos, the violin concerto and the triple concerto), his best symphonies and overtures, Missa Solemnis, Fantasia for piano, chorus and orchestra, the music to Goethe's “Egmont” and other pieces. 

Part I will feature the Fifth Piano Concerto, the most monumental work by Beethoven in this genre, known as “Emperor” due to the grandiose style of the music, the spectacular range of ideas and images, the lavishness of the score. It is worth knowing that Beethoven entrusted the premiere of this Concerto to his colleagues because of his declining hearing (while having played all other concertos himself). Besides this is his only concerto without cadenzas. However, owing to its “transcendental elaboration” as Liszt, one of its best interpreters, would have said, the Concerto concedes only to the chosen. Ekaterina Mechetina, Merited Artist of Russia, awardee of international competitions, professor at the Moscow Conservatoire will play this time the piano part.      

The concert will end with the Symphony No. 7, created in 1811-1812 when Europe was in full anticipation of vanquishing Napoleon, whereas Beethoven, though finally accepting the coming deafness and abandoning his dreams of personal happiness, was very sensitive to everything going on in the world.  The score of the new symphony, a musical harbinger of the victory, was finished on April 13, 1812, and dedicated to Count Moritz von Fries, a Viennese maecenas at whose house Beethoven used to give recitals. The Symphony was performed at first time in Vienna on December 8, 1813, at a charity concert to help widows of the soldiers who had taken part in the Hanau battle beating Napoleon's army. The author conducted the orchestra himself.

The Seventh Symphony is one of the most eloquent among Beethoven’s works. One of its peculiarities is using Allegretto instead of the traditional slow movement, revoking associations with a folk manifestation. The movement has gained such popularity that it got inserted into other symphonies (e.g. the Second), played separately and then used in drama theaters and films. Beethoven himself considered it to be his best Symphony (later on Tchaikovsky shared this opinion). One of the critics of those times wrote that “of all symphonies by Beethoven this one is the most translucent and rich in melodies” while Richard Wagner called it “the apotheosis of dance”.



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