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PIANO CONCERTO NO.5 IN E FLAT, OP.73, ‘EMPEROR’ Allegro Adagio un poco mosso 3 Rondo: Allegro CD 1 Total Time 1 2

VIOLIN CONCERTO IN D, OP.61 transcribed for Pianoforte 1 Allegro ma non troppo 2 Larghetto 3 Rondo: Allegro

CD 2 Total Time

20:20 8:53 10:44 39:27

24:45 9:25 11:42 46:00

MMT2056-57 Live Stereo Recording  2004 HRL Morrison Music Trust  2004 HRL Morrison Music Trust Rita Angus (1908-1970), Mountains Cass, c.1936, watercolour, 370 x 490 mm. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu. Reproduced by permission of the Estate of the artist.

BEETHOVEN AND THE CONCERTO When Beethoven visited Vienna as a teenager in the late 1780s he had no doubts about the composer with whom he intended to study. Mozart, the greatest keyboard virtuoso of the period, was an obvious choice for Beethoven given his own formidable powers as a pianist. Mozart was evidently impressed by Beethoven’s playing but did not think it better than that of his pupil Hummel who was several years younger. It was only after Beethoven begged to be allowed to improvise on a theme of Mozart’s own devising that he was finally accepted as a pupil. In the event Beethoven did not study with Mozart. His mother fell seriously ill and he returned to Bonn in short order. By the time circumstances allowed him to return to Vienna Mozart was dead and Beethoven undertook instead to study with Haydn. Ironically, Haydn, the teacher of second choice, proved to be a far richer source of musical inspiration than Mozart. In one instrumental genre,

however, Mozart stood supreme: the concerto. Many composers had written keyboard concertos before Mozart. Among the works that exerted the greatest influence on the young Mozart were the concertos of Johann Christian Bach whom he met in London as a child. The polished, elegant style and easy Italianate lyricism of the music of Bach assumed a central place in Mozart’s musical thinking for many years, and to them, as he matured as an artist, he added intellectual complexity and technical virtuosity. In a sense there are no direct precursors to the Mozart piano concertos: other works exist, many of them attractive and well-written, but none give the barest hint of what Mozart was to achieve in the space of several concert seasons. How well these works were known outside of Vienna is difficult to assess. But one can be sure that these extraordinary works came as a revelation to Beethoven, far more so

than even the greatest symphonies and quartets of Haydn, for Beethoven too was a virtuoso and perhaps better than most could appreciate Mozart’s gigantic achievement. With Mozart dead, Beethoven sought to establish himself as quickly as possible as the foremost keyboard virtuoso in Vienna. His playing astonished and delighted the lucky few who heard it and his improvisations in particular gained him great fame. All the while he was honing his skills as a composer in preparation to assault the three great musical fortresses of Viennese classicism: the symphony, the concerto and the string quartet. The concerto provided the ideal public platform for Beethoven. It allowed him to demonstrate his prowess both as a performer and composer and fulfil Count Waldstein’s prediction that he would ‘receive Mozart’s spirit from Haydn’s hands’. Beethoven’s compositional style underwent a massive transformation during the years

that separate the B flat concerto and the ‘Emperor’ and this change is reflected in the works themselves. The early works draw on Mozart’s concertos for their formal models and to an extent their musical inspiration. The fourth and fifth concertos, however, have their origins in the great Middle Period symphonies and for that reason an almost inconceivable stylistic gulf separates the early concertos from the late works. That the concertos – like the sonatas – are the music Beethoven wrote for himself makes them particularly revealing, the more so since they represent the most public face of Beethoven the performer. It is hardly surprising that no concertos followed the ‘Emperor’, even though sketches for a sixth piano concerto survive. When Beethoven came to the realisation that his deafness made it impossible for him to perform in public any longer he seems to have lost heart and abandoned the genre forever.


his fist at a passing French officer and

According to the most recent research

shouted ‘If I, as general, knew as much

incident when he is alleged to have shaken

Beethoven’s last and most famous piano

about strategy as I the composer know of

concerto was probably written during the

counterpoint, I’d give you something to do!’

period January-April 1809. At the time of

By the time Beethoven completed the

its composition Austria was poised once

Fifth Concerto he must have been aware

again on the brink of war with France and

that he was now too deaf to risk giving

on 12 May, scarcely a month after the

the premiere himself. Whether this had

formal declaration of hostilities, Vienna

any real bearing on how he approached

surrendered to the victorious Imperial

the composition of the work is a matter

Army after being subjected to two days of

for some debate since from the outset

heavy bombardment. Beethoven, whose

the solo part was clearly conceived for a

apartment was right on the city ramparts,

virtuoso of the first order. In the event,

spent the greater part of these two days

the first performance was given in Berlin

in his brother Caspar’s cellar where he

by Johann Schneider, possibly a former

covered his head with pillows to protect

Beethoven pupil, on 28 November 1810. It

what remained of his failing hearing. In the weeks immediately following

was a brilliant success. The reviewer in the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung reported

the occupation Beethoven, like most of his

that the new work ‘put a numerous

fellow citizens, found life extremely trying.

audience into such a state of enthusiasm

Freedom of movement was curtailed,

that it could hardly content itself with the

prices of basic commodities soared and

ordinary expressions of recognition and

the musical life of the city was thoroughly

enjoyment’. Predictably, the Viennese

disorganized. Beethoven’s rising irritation

premiere, with Carl Czerny as soloist, was

is perhaps best illustrated by the famous

rather less successful. Theodor Körner,

lately arrived in Vienna, wrote home on 15 February 1812: On Wednesday the 11th, for the benefit of the Society of Noble Ladies for Charity,

certainly the ones which appealed to Beethoven – were its overall tone of seriousness and grandeur, its militaristic quality and its emphasis upon large,

a concert and tableaux, representing three

massive sonorities. The first movement

pictures by Raphael, Pousson and Troyes

of the ‘Emperor’ is a virtual compendium

as described by Goethe in his ‘Elective

of French Revolutionary devices including

Affinities’, were given. The pictures offered

the characteristic martial theme, described

a glorious treat; a new piano concerto by

by Alfred Einstein, one of the greatest

Beethoven failed.

musical scholars of the twentieth century,

The Fifth Piano Concerto is without question one of Beethoven’s most

as ‘an idealised quick march, brisk four in a bar, with a decisive beginning, pushing

heroic works. In size and complexity it

boldly on, often brusque in manner; dotted

bears a similar relationship to the earlier

quavers on the upbeats and a constantly

concertos as the ‘Eroica’ does to the first

pulsing rhythm.’ The opening, however,

two symphonies. But the real difference

with its imposing orchestral chords

between the ‘Emperor’ Concerto and its

punctuated by rhapsodic piano writing, is

predecessors is more fundamental: while

pure Beethoven, a logical extension of the

the first three concertos and, to a lesser

opening to the Fourth Concerto and yet

extent the Fourth, are firmly rooted in the

another solution to the eternal problem of

language of the Viennese classical style,


the Fifth draws much of its inspiration from the music of French Revolutionary composers like Cherubini and Méhul. Among the most obvious qualities of French Revolutionary music – and

The tranquil and exceedingly beautiful slow movement, cast in the remote key of E major, presents an enormous contrast of mood and style from the turbulent opening Allegro. This last and greatest of

Beethoven’s concerto slow movements

means of dissemination. It reached its

also continues a trend seen a number of

apogee in the concertos of Ignaz Pleyel,

other middle period works including the

whose music must have been very familiar

Triple Concerto and the Violin Concerto; it

to Beethoven. All of his concertos were

is linked to the finale by means of a short

published in alternate versions and the

transitional passage which contains the

majority were also issued in a bewildering

essential thematic building blocks of the

variety of arrangements for domestic

ensuing Rondo.

use. In Pleyel’s case, the motivation to

The finale is conceived on the same majestic scale as the opening movement, full of rugged power and massive sonorities. For all that, the solo part is never overshadowed by the orchestra even in moments of almost titanic struggle. The piano writing is of a power and complexity never before seen in the concerto and pushed Beethoven’s instrument of 1809 to its absolute limit.

undertake such work is obvious since not only was he an extraordinarily popular composer, he also owned a very successful publishing house. Beethoven, who had a generally dim view of arrangements, had no such motivation and understandably made few of them during the course of his illustrious career. One of the most famous exceptions is the arrangement of the Violin Concerto in D, Op.61, although the extent to which he was involved in the process is by no means certain.


The Violin Concerto received its

transcribed for Pianoforte

premiere in Vienna on 23 December 1806.

The practice of writing concertos in

Its composition seems to have occupied

multiple versions became very common

Beethoven for little more than a month

in the eighteenth century as printed music

and it was finished so late in the piece that

replaced manuscript copies as the principal

Franz Clement, leader of the orchestra at

the Theater an der Wien and soloist for

to someone else he should delay as long

the occasion, played the work virtually at

as possible fixing the final form of the solo

sight. Exactly what Clement played has

part. Given the complexity of the problem

been the subject of much speculation

it has proved impossible to establish with

since the solo part – which occupies four

absolute certainty Beethoven’s original text

staves in Beethoven’s autograph – contains

for the solo part and this, of course, has a

an unusually large number of corrections

strong bearing on the transcription of the

and alternatives. Some of these clearly

work for pianoforte.

represent changes made in the course

Beethoven undertook to arrange his

of the work’s composition while others

new Violin Concerto for pianoforte at the

were made after the premiere. A second

request of the pianist-composer-publisher

copy of the score, upon which the first

Muzio Clementi who was visiting Vienna in

published edition was made, contains

1807. Clementi, who had previously failed

further changes and the final version – the

to secure publication rights for Beethoven’s

printed text – represents a conflation of the

works, wrote to his London business

various readings. Beethoven’s apparent

partner William Collard on 22 April:

indecision in relation to the solo part is

By a little management, and without

consistent with his general approach to the

committing myself, I have at last made a

performance of his concertos. Beethoven

compleat conquest of that haughty beauty,

himself never played the works the

Beethoven: who first began at public

same way twice – there was always an

places to grin and coquet with me which I

improvisatory element in his

took care not to discourage: then slid into

performances – and at times, according

familiar chat, till meeting him by chance

to his pupil Ferdinand Ries, he departed

one day in the street – Where do you lodge,

radically from the text. It is hardly surprising

says he; I have not seen you this long

then that in the case of a work entrusted

while!… In short, I agreed with him to take

W.A. Sutton (1917-2000), Te Tihi o Kahukura and Sky I, 1976, oil on canvas, 1520 x 2450 mm. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu.

in MSS from three quartettes

survives in Beethoven’s hand, which raises

the ‘Rasumovsky’ Quartets, Op.59], a

strong doubts about the extent to which

symphony [No.4 in B flat, Op.60], an

he was involved. The weakness of the

overture [Coriolan, Op.62], a concerto for

arrangement in places also argues against

the violin, which is beautiful and which, at

Beethoven being the sole author. It has

my request, he will adapt for the pianoforte

been suggested that he may have handed

with and without additional keys; and a

the autograph over to someone else and

concerto for the Pianoforte [No.4 in G,

given instructions as to how to proceed.

Op.58]: for all of which we are to pay him

These instructions would have covered the

two hundred pounds sterling…. Remember

style of the left-hand part – fragments of

that the violin concerto Beethoven will

which appear in the autograph in

adapt himself and send it as soon as he can.

pencil – and which readings to take over

In order to circumvent the law – under

from the violin solo part for the right hand.

the French occupation, the movement of

Interestingly enough, some of Beethoven’s

goods between Austria and England was

original (and preferred?) readings for

forbidden – it was planned to send the

the solo part are incorporated into the

works to London via Russia. Things went

transcription in preference to the later

wrong and a number of the works named in

versions. This certainly argues for some

the contract were never received.

degree of authorial involvement but the

The only new work to have been

uncharacteristically sloppy workmanship

created as a result of Beethoven’s contract

in other places does not. To complicate

with Clementi was the arrangement of

matters further, Beethoven proofed – and

the Violin Concerto. However, apart from

by implication approved – the final version

a few indications for a left hand part

of the transcription leaving its many

entered into the autograph of the Violin

inadequacies uncorrected. Taken together

Concerto nothing of the arrangement

all the evidence points to a profound lack

of interest on Beethoven’s part in the transcription, although a year or two later he composed a magnificent cadenza for the work which towers above everything else in terms of the quality of its writing. Of the music itself, little needs to be said. The Violin Concerto is justly famous as one of the greatest works of its kind. In its transcription for pianoforte, however, it loses many of its intrinsic qualities. The soaring lyricism of the solo part is less effective in its keyboard guise and the textural complexity which animates Beethoven’s keyboard writing is little in evidence. Beethoven, like all great composers, conceived his thematic material carefully for its purposes and the task of transforming what was so perfect for violin into something suitable for keyboard clearly did not engage the interest of a man who viewed the entire exercise as commercial rather than artistic. The Rondo is the most successful movement in this Beethoven curiosity and, as in its original form, brings the work to an exuberant close.

DIEDRE IRONS Diedre Irons was born in Winnipeg, Canada. As a child prodigy she came to the attention of Russian-born composer/ violinist/pianist Sophie-Carmen (Sonia) Eckhardt-Gramatté, whose master pupil she became. At the age of 18 she made her official début with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra playing Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Winds. After graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Diedre Irons was invited by her teacher, Rudolf Serkin, to join the faculty of that prestigious conservatory. She taught there for the next seven years, at the same time touring extensively in Canada and the United States both as a soloist and as a chamber music player.

Irons moved to New Zealand in 1977 and has since become a vital part of the New Zealand music scene, performing frequently with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia, and the Christchurch Symphony. She has toured many times under the auspices of Chamber Music New Zealand, and recorded extensively for Radio New Zealand. She continues to travel internationally, having, to date, performed concerts in 25 countries. Diedre Irons was awarded an MBE for services to music in 1989. She was Senior Lecturer in Piano at the University of Canterbury until the end of 2003; in 2004 she took up the position of Head of Piano Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

DiedreIrons Piano Recital M ozartSchumann Ravel Gershwin Chopin


Century Classics Ensemble, which has presented the New Zealand premieres of many 20th century masterpieces, Taddei is also an advocate of contemporary New Zealand composers. Also available from Trust Records featuring

MARC TADDEI Marc Taddei is the Music Director of the Christchurch Symphony, Associate Conductor of the Auckland Philharmonia, and Music Director of New Zealand’s premier modern music group, the 20th Century Classics Ensemble. He holds the positions of Head of Orchestral Repertoire Studies and Artist Teacher of Conducting at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Taddei has conducted in Europe and North America, and is a frequent guest conductor with every professional orchestra in New Zealand. He is noted for his interpretations of the Germanic and late-Romantic repertoire and is a keen advocate of the Second Viennese School. In addition to his work with the 20th




WARRIORs from pluto







THE CHRISTCHURCH SYMPHONY Recently described by conductor Sir William Southgate as ‘...a minor miracle which boxes way above its weight’, the Christchurch Symphony is one of New Zealand’s small number of professional orchestras and is a vital part of a vibrant artistic scene in Christchurch. Founded almost 30 years ago, it has built up a core of over 30 professional players, which it augments when required with other talented players in the Christchurch region. Under Music Director Marc Taddei the orchestra has embarked on a strategy of expanding its range and versatility. Its annual programmes span the ages and styles from the Baroque to the great Bruckner and Mahler symphonies. Its ‘pop’ programme features top New Zealand and overseas artists such as Bic Runga and Midge Marsden. Marsden’s performance of the late William Russo’s Three Pieces for Blues Band, was both a new direction for the orchestra and

enthusiastically received by audience and critics alike. Its programmes have included works by New Zealand composers Douglas Lilburn, Gareth Farr, Chris Cree Brown and Ewan Clark. The Christchurch Symphony also tours to South Island centres and is regularly engaged by, amongst others, Canterbury Opera, the Christchurch City Choir and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. The Christchurch Symphony has released two previous recordings, Live at the Proms and the much acclaimed Landmarks, a compilation from the orchestra’s repertoire. AMI Insurance is Christchurch Symphony’s principal sponsor and its generous assistance enabled the orchestra to participate in this recording.

Rita Angus (1908-1970) Rita Angus was born in Hastings and studied at the Canterbury College School of Art from 1927 to 1933. In the 1930s she exhibited at the Canterbury Society of Arts and with ‘The Group’ (ex-students from the Society who set up their own exhibitions), while working as a graphic artist. She painted extensively in Otago, Canterbury, and later Hawkes Bay and Wellington. Her work in the 1930s and 40s, the period in which Mountains Cass was painted, has often been described as ‘regionalist’ in its apparent celebration of a specific time and locality. In 1954 she bought a cottage in Thorndon, Wellington where she lived and worked until her death in 1970. During the 1930s Rita Angus made a number of sketching trips into the Canterbury high country with friends and fellow artists such as Louise Henderson. Mountains Cass captures the isolation of a tiny cottage in the Southern Alps set against dominating landforms. Angus used a distinctive style of realism, with clearly defined shapes, blocks of strong colour and a clear, pervading light. She was searching for ways to combine her own experience of the area and the essential nature of the

region. The colours are seen as typical of the Canterbury School of artists.

William Alexander (Bill) Sutton (1917-2000) Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, W.A. Sutton was educated at Christchurch Boys High School and at the University of Canterbury College of Art (1934-1938). During the course of his career he received many awards and fellowships, including the Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship in 1973 and the Governor General’s Award in 1984. He was awarded the CBE in 1980. Sutton’s contribution to New Zealand’s art history was his development of the landscape through his depiction of the Canterbury region over almost six decades. Using both oils and watercolour, his style changed over the years from a realist to an abstract approach. He began to seek the essence of the landscape, paring back the visual components to angle and form, emphasising structure and composition. Through his study of the unique patterns of the sky, the shapes, textures and forms of the land in Canterbury, he gave the region an identity unparalleled in New Zealand art.

BEETHOVEN PIANO CONCERTO 5 & VIOLIN CONCERTO (TRANSCRIBED FOR PIANO) MMT2056-57 Live Stereo Recording  2004 HRL Morrison Music Trust  2004 HRL Morrison Music Trust Recorded live at the Christchurch Town Hall, New Zealand, in association with AMI Insurance and Concert FM, during 22 & 23 November 2003 and 3 & 4 April 2004 Production Wayne Laird Recording Engineer Noel Maginnity Executive Producer Ross Hendy Booklet Notes Dr Allan Badley Booklet Coordinator Janey MacKenzie Design Mallabar Music Photo Credits Robert Cross, Bob Goundrill, Raimund Lavender The HRL Morrison Music Trust gratefully acknowledges the support of the following people and organisations in the making of this recording: AMI Insurance, Concert FM, Neil Roberts & Tim Jones (Christchurch Art Gallery), Justine Cormack, Joanna Drimatis and David Catty. The HRL Morrison Music Trust was established in March 1995 as a charitable trust to support New Zealand musicians of international calibre. All funds received

by the Trust are used to make recordings, present concerts – both in New Zealand and overseas – and assist artists to undertake projects to further develop their talents. More information about other releases by the HRL Morrison Music Trust can be found at the internet site: All rights of the producer and of the owner of the work reproduced are reserved. Unauthorised copying, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting of this recording is prohibited. Also available in this series MMT2050 BEETHOVEN – PIANO CONCERTOS 1 & 2 DIEDRE IRONS CHRISTCHURCH SYMPHONY MARC TADDEI B E E T H OV E N PIANO CONCERTOS 3 & 4 DIEDRE IRONS / CHRISTCHURCH SYMPHONY / MARC TADDEI




PIANO CONCERTO NO.5 IN E FLAT, OP.73, ‘EMPEROR’ Allegro Adagio un poco mosso 3 Rondo: Allegro CD 1 Total Time 1 2

VIOLIN CONCERTO IN D, OP.61 transcribed for Pianoforte 1 Allegro ma non troppo 2 Larghetto 3 Rondo: Allegro

CD 2 Total Time

MMT2056-57 Live Stereo Recording  2004 HRL Morrison Music Trust  2004 HRL Morrison Music Trust

20:20 8:53 10:44 39:27

24:45 9:25 11:42 46:00

Beethoven: Piano Concerto 5 & Violin Concerto in D  

Completing the cycle of Beethoven's piano concerto series, this third volume and 2-CD set includes his most famous, and widely considered to...