Evening Concert

Helene Grimaud plays Brahms’ 1st Piano Concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra


Is it an "accident of history" or choice of Brahms to compose his 1st Piano Concerto in the dramatic key of D Minor?* Tonight at 7:00 on the Evening Concert on WILL-FM 90.9 Helene Grimaud is the soloist in Brahms’ 1st Piano Concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra led by Music Director Manfred Honeck. Also on the program, Beethoven’s 4th Symphony and Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor”.

Wednesday February 18: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO #14-15_11)

Manfred Honeck, conductor; **Helene Grimaud, piano

BACH (ORCH: STOKOWSKI): Toccata and Fugue in D minor

[PSO fill: MUSSORGSKY: “Catacombs” from “Pictures at an Exhibition” (Leonard Slatkin, cond.]

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 4

**BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1

*Brahms' biographers often note that the first sketches for the dramatic opening movement followed quickly on the heels of the 1854 suicide attempt of the composer's dear friend and mentor, Robert Schumann, an event which caused great anguish for Brahms. He finally completed the concerto two years after Schumann's death in 1856.

The degree to which Brahms' personal experience is embedded in the concerto is hard to gauge since several other factors also influenced the musical expression of the piece. The epic mood links the work explicitly to the tradition of the Beethoven symphony that Brahms sought to emulate. The finale of the concerto, for example, is clearly modeled on the last movement of Beethoven's third piano concerto, while the concerto's key of D minor is the same as both Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Mozart's dramatic Piano Concerto No. 20.  (per wikipedia; read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_Concerto_No._1_%28Brahms%29)