Beethoven wrote his final Piano Concerto at the height of his compositional powers, at a time of personal and political turmoil. It is the largest in scale of all of his concertos. Essentially a three-movement symphony with solo piano, it is impressively imperial in scale; an epic tour de force, pitching soloist and orchestra in a musical argument of unprecedented breadth and scale, A spirit of heroism infuses the music, whilst the sublime slow movement is one of Beethoven’s most profound. Most striking about the Fifth Symphony is its epic scale and character. Prokofiev uses the massive patriotic style that had proven so successful in his vocal and dramatic music of the late 1930s and early 1940s. Composed in 1944 the themes, orchestration, and mood are broad and strong; it is a symphony conceived on the greatness of the human soul, during a time of intense upheaval.

Works and composers

Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 ‘Emperor’
Prokofiev Symphony No.5

With thanks to all those who have remembered the BSO in their Will