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Andrew McGregor with Nicholas Kenyon and Sarah Walker

Andrew McGregor rounds up the best new and recent releases, and in Building a Library Sir Nicholas Kenyon compares recordings of Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto, Op. 73, 'Emperor'.

with Andrew McGregor.

Building a Library: Sir Nicholas Kenyon listens to and compares some of the available recordings of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.5 in E flat major, Op.73, 'Emperor'.

Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto in E flat major, Op.73, nicknamed the 'Emperor' is the grandest and even the most symphonic of Beethoven's concertos. It is also the best known of Beethoven's five piano concertos and the most often performed. From the very first bars, the orchestra and soloist engage in what sounds like an heroic battle.

The Emperor Concerto, as it has come to be known, was begun in 1808 and dedicated to Beethoven's friend and student, the Archduke Rudolf who gave its Leipzig premiere in 1811. The piano had become a more expressive instrument through new technological developments, and the Emperor Concerto therefore quickly became very popular. Carl Czerny gave its Vienna premiere in 1802 and Franz Liszt also loved to play the concerto.

Sarah Walker reviews some of the most exciting new releases of chamber music.

Andrew chooses an outstanding new release as his Disc of the Week.

3 hours, 13 minutes

Last on

Sat 9 Feb 2019 09:00

Music Played

  • Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga

    Overture to Los Esclavos Felices

    Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic. Conductor: Juanjo Mena.
    • Chandos.
  • Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi Mealli

    Sonata in A minor 'la Cesta'

    Ensemble: Girandole Armoniche.
    • Arcana.
  • Gilles Binchois

    Triste Plaisir

    Performer: Jeremy Denk.
    • Nonesuch.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Piano Sonata No.16 in C major: II.

    Performer: Jeremy Denk.
    • Nonesuch.
  • Gustav Mahler

    Symphony No.2 in C minor 'Resurrection': II. Andante

    Orchestra: Minnesota Orchestra. Conductor: Osmo Vänskä.
    • BIS.
  • Franz Liszt

    Années de Pèlerinage - Troisième année: 4. Les jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este

    Performer: Cédric Tiberghien.
    • Hyperion.
  • Nicolas Chédeville

    Les Plaisirs de la Sainte-Martin: Largo

    Performer: Tobie Miller. Ensemble: Ensemble Danguy.
  • Béla Bartók

    String Quartet No.1, Op.7: II. Allegretto - Introduzione

    Ensemble: Quatuor Diotima.
    • Naive.
  • Béla Bartók

    String Quartet No.5, BB 110: II. Adagio molto

    Ensemble: Quatuor Diotima.
    • Naive.
  • Béla Bartók

    String Quartet No.4, BB 95: V. Allegro molto

    Ensemble: Quatuor Diotima.
    • Naive.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Septet in E flat major, Op.20

    Performer: Emma Johnson. Performer: Chris West. Performer: Philip Gibbon. Performer: Peter Francombe. Performer: Matthew Denton. Performer: Eoin Schmidt-Martin. Performer: Emma Denton.
    • Somm.
  • Richard Strauss


    Performer: Emma Johnson. Performer: Philip Gibbon. Performer: Peter Francombe. Performer: Chris West. Ensemble: Carducci String Quartet.
    • Somm.
  • Henryk Mikołaj Górecki

    Genesis 1: Elementi, Op.19 No.1

    Ensemble: Tippett Quartet.
    • NAXOS.
  • Henryk Mikołaj Górecki

    String Quartet No.2, Op.64 "Quasi una fantasia"

    Ensemble: Tippett Quartet.
    • NAXOS.
  • Jean Sibelius

    Sonatina in E Op.80

    Performer: Fenella Humphreys. Performer: Nicola Eimer.
    • Stone Records.
  • Gordon Crosse

    Sonatina III. Caprice Finale

    Performer: Fenella Humphreys. Performer: Nicola Eimer.
    • Stone Records.
  • Erik Satie

    Messe des Pauvres: 'Priere pour le salut de mon ame'

    Ensemble: Fidelio Trio.
    • Resonus.
  • Gabriel Fauré

    Piano Trio in D minor, op. 120 ii. Allegro vivo

    Ensemble: Fidelio Trio.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Queen of Spades: Act 1, Scene 2

    Singer: Natalia Datsko. Singer: Nina Romanova. Singer: Tatiana Kuzminova. Singer: Lidia Chernykh. Singer: Vitaly Tarashchenko. Orchestra: Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra. Choir: Yurlov Republican Academic Choral Capella. Conductor: Vladimir Fedoseyev.
    • Melodiya.

Record Review


Arriaga: Overture to ‘Los esclavos felices’, Herminie, Overture Op.20, Air de l’Opéra Médée & Symphonie a grand orchestra
Berit Norbakken Solset (soprano)
BBC Philharmonic
Juanjo Mena (conductor)
Chandos CHAN 20077

‘Extravagantes Seicento: Sonatas for violin and viola da gamba at the Habsburg Court’ including works by Albertini, Mealli, Kerll, Schmelzer, Biber & Capricornus
Girandole Armoniche (ensemble)
Esther Crazzolara (violin)
Teodoro Bau (viola da gamba)
Federica Bianchi (harpsichord)
Arcana A113

‘Jeremy Denk c.1300-c.2000’ including works for piano by Machaut, Binchois, Gesualdo, Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Debussy Stockhausen, Ligeti, Philip Glass etc.
Jeremy Denk (piano)
Nonesuch 7559-79347-1 (2 CDs)


9.30am – Building a Library – Nicholas Kenyon on Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.5 in E flat major, Op.73 ‘Emperor’

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

Reviewer: Nicholas Kenyon

Recommended Recording:

Hannes Minnaar (piano)
Netherlands Symphonic Orchestra
Jan Willem de Vriend (conductor)
Channel CC72672

Other Recommended Recordings:


Claudio Arrau (piano)
Philharmonia Orchestra
Alceo Galliera (conductor)
EMI CDZ 7 67384

Later generation

Krystian Zimmerman
Wiener Philharmoniker
Leonard Bernstein
DG 435 470-2


10.20am – New Releases

Mahler: Symphony No.2 in C minor, ‘Resurrection’
Ruby Hughes (soprano)
Sasha Cooke (mezzo-soprano)
Minnesota Chorale
Minnesota Orchestra
Osmo Vanska (conductor)
BIS-2296 SACD (Hybrid SACD)

Liszt: Années de pèlerinage, troisième année & other late piano works
Cédric Tiberghien (piano)
Hyperion CDA68202


10.50am – Sarah Walker on new chamber music releases

Bartók: String Quartets Nos. 1-6
Quatuor Diotima
Naive V5452

Beethoven: Septet Op.20 + Strauss: Fruhlingsstimmen, Perpetuum Mobile & Weber: Introduction, Theme & Variations for Clarinet & String Quartet
Emma Johnson (clarinet)
Peter Francombe (horn)
Philip Gibbon (bassoon)
Carducci String Quartet
Chris West (double bass)

Górecki: String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2 + Genesis I: Elementi
Tippett Quartet
NAXOS 8.573919

‘So many stars’ – Sonatinas for violin and piano by Alwyn, Berkeley, Crosse, Francaix, Frances-Hoad & Sibelius
Fenella Humphreys (violin)
Nicola Eimer (piano)
Stone Records, 5060192780826

Fauré: Piano Trio in D minor, Op.120; Chausson: Piano Trio in G minor, Op.3 & Satie: Le Piege de Méduse (arr. White)
Fidelio Trio
Resonus RES10232

11.45am – Disc of the Week

Tchaikovsky: The Queen of Spades, an opera in 3 acts
Vitaly  Tarashchenko (tenor)
Natalia Datsko (soprano)
Irina Arkhipova (mezzo-soprano)
Dmitri Hvorostovsky (baritone)
Nina Romanova (mezzo-soprano)
Grigory Gritsyuk (baritone)
Alexander Vedernikov (bass)
Alexander Dyachenko (tenor)
Vladimir Grishko (tenor)
Oleg Klenov (baritone)
Vladimir Grishko (tenor)
Tatiana Kuzminova (mezzo-soprano)
Lidia Chernykh (soprano)
Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
Yurlov Republican Academic Choral Capella
Vladimir Fedoseyev (conductor)
Melodiva MEL CD 10 02549 (3 CDs)


  • Sat 9 Feb 2019 09:00

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