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Beethoven - Piano Concerto No 2

with Stephen Kovacevich

Kovacevich, who recorded the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas in 2003, examines the subtle and complex Piano Concerto No 2.

Instrument Piano

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Course Length
2 lessons · 50m 30s

Stephen Kovacevich's international reputation as a pianist has been built both on his concert appearances, renowned for their thoughtfulness and creative intensity, and on the highly acclaimed recordings he has made throughout his career. He is considered as one of the most searching interpreters of the core classical repertoire and he has won great admiration for his recordings of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert and Chopin. He is also an acclaimed interpreter of contemporary music, including Tippett's piano concerto and Richard Rodney Bennett's concerto (which was dedicated to Kovacevich).

In 2003, he recorded the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas, earning the distinction "Choc" from the French leading magazine Le Monde de la musique, and also a "Diapason d’or." This time, he has devoted himself to Beethoven’s second of the five piano concertos. In fact, this Piano Concerto No. 2 has been composed before the first one by Beethoven who was 25 years old at that time. This piece, full of subtlety and slow movements, ends on the high notes with robust themes, which reminds us of Mozart’s great classicism.

Sudent: David Kadouch
Orchestral accompanist: Lilit Grigoryan

In partnership with The Masterclass Media Foundation Archives, which provides a valuable educational resource in order to perpetuate musical passion and knowledge from one generation to another. [MMF036]

Lesson Plan

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Stephen Kovacevich

Stephen Kovacevich is one of the most searching interpreters. As a pianist he has won unsurpassed admiration for his playing of Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart and Schubert. In addition to his long and distinguished career as a soloist he has conducted for many years, winning warm praise for his work with orchestras throughout the world in repertoire from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Born in Los Angeles, Stephen Kovacevich made his concert debut as a pianist at the age of 11. When he was 18 he moved to England to study with Dame Myra Hess. His international reputation has been built both on his concert appearances, renowned for their thoughtfulness and re-creative intensity, and on the highly acclaimed recordings he has made throughout his career.

Kovacevich has enjoyed two long-term relationships with recording companies, first Philips and then EMI. His concerto recordings for Philips, including Beethoven, Schumann and Bartók, have long been staples of the catalogue. As an exclusive EMI artist, he recorded both Brahms Piano Concertos with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Sawallisch. The other great projects of his work with EMI were a compelling series of Schubert Sonatas and a set of the 32 Beethoven Sonatas completed in 2003, hailed as one of the most authoritative ever recorded. His recording of the Diabelli Variations for Onyx won the 2009 Classic FM Gramophone Editor’s Choice award.

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