Beethoven: Symphonies n°5 and 6, Emperor piano concerto « l’Empereur »

Sunday 25 March 2018 – 3pm
Approximate duration: 
2h40 with intermission

Jean-Christophe Spinosi invites us to a truly Beethovenian concert, evocative of the long performances organized by Beethoven in Vienna: on 22 December 1808, he gave his symphonies no. 5 and 6 and also his 4th piano concerto, and many other works for more than four hours of music! For this homage to Beethoven, at his most inventive and most fascinating, these two symphonies composed and created simultaneously by Beethoven, both revolutionary works and remarkably different one from another will be performed.


First, Symphony no.5, a true manifesto of a new style of composition, leading into a world of speed, fury, grandiose eloquence and orchestra virtuosity: a century would go by before the Rite of Spring created a similar shock! Haydn and Mozart were suddenly relegated to the past century; here is fate knocking, and an irresistible march to glory: the modernity of romanticism and Beethoven’s genius burst into a symphony of such novelty that it still has the same impact today.

In radical contrast, here is the Pastoral Symphony: man surrenders to nature, remembering his strolls in the countryside, where the sound of animals, wind, thunder and peasant dances people pictorial and descriptive music, infinitely beautiful at times, with violent outbursts of the elements at others.

At the same time Beethoven was also composing a third masterpiece, his final piano concerto, called the Emperor: certainly not as a tribute to Napoleon, who was bombing Vienna at the time and whom Beethoven reproached for having become a sanguinary tyrant, but a descriptive title for the work, expressing its imperial nature, which also found its place in posterity.

For this firework concert, Jean-Christophe Spinosi energises his musicians and the dynamic soloist Simon Ghraichy: hailed from Washington, New York, Berlin to Paris, the young French pianist will do justice to Beethoven’s most splendid concerto, with his usual spirit. 



Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Symphonies n°5 and 6, Emperor piano concerto « l’Empereur »




Simon Ghraichy Piano


Ensemble Matheus

Jean-Christophe Spinosi Conductor