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Alpha continues the musical tour of XIXth century piano music on ancient instruments with Arthur Schoonderwoerd's recordings of Beethoven's concerti. (see the first issue Alpha 079). This time, the programme features the Third Concerto as well as Beethoven's own transcription of the Violin Concerto. The first public performance of the Third Concerto, which was completed in 1802, took place on April 5th, 1803, with Beethoven at the piano. The writing is very similar to that of the First Symphony and to the Quartets opus 18. The translation of the Violin Concerto is by Beethoven's own hand (opus 61A) and is dedicated to Stephan von Breuning's wife. It is sometimes called the Piano Concerto N° 6.
Going firmly against the prevailing tide, Arthur Schoonderwoerd offers us colours, accents and tempi that cannot but deeply stir our perceptions of this music, so often biased by huge orchestras or by powerful modern pianos.
The first volume disturbed common wisdom - and that's a good thing - and gave tremendous pleasure to music lovers who discovered unknown riches' in a work they thought they knew throughout. Let's give the final word to Eric Taver (Le Monde de la Musique, talking about the first volume): "Beware, this is a radical experience!"