Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto with Paul Lewis

Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 8:00 PM

Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage
881 Seventh Ave, New York, NY 10019

Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto with Paul Lewis

Two Haydn works bookend the Orchestra of St. Luke’s February 2019 program. The opening Overture from Haydn’s music-drama L'isola disabitata (The Deserted Island - 1779) rings out with “the Sturm und Drang style that mirrors that of the ‘Farewell’ Symphony,” notes Bernard Labadie. The anecdote attached to Haydn’s “Farewell” Symphony is that it was the composer’s musical message to his patron Prince Nikolaus Esterházy to let the court musicians return to their families after a much-prolonged period at his country estate. Through three bustling movements, little-by-little musicians leave the stage, until two violinists remain, and the symphony winds down to silence. Haydn’s craftsmanship, melodic mastery, and sharp wit inspired generations of composers—starting with his younger contemporaries Mozart and Beethoven, whose music, performed by two stellar artists, makes up the middle portion of the program. By the time Beethoven premiered the earliest version of his Piano Concerto No. 2 in 1795, it had undergone a long gestation, most notably being revised during the time (1792–1793) the composer spent studying with Haydn in Vienna. Bubbling with wit and high spirits, the concerto, finalized in 1797, exhibits many influences from both Haydn and Mozart. Performing it here is the renowned British pianist Paul Lewis, who makes his Carnegie Hall concerto debut at this concert.  Beethoven has been central to the pianist’s career, particularly over the past 10 years. His 2010 recording of the complete Beethoven concertos was hailed by The New York Times, for its “freshly considered, elegant and engrossing performances.” Rising soprano Ying Fang, who “possesses a lyric soprano of … verdant beauty” (Opera News) will perform a farewell of a different kind—to a lover—in the concert aria “Non più. Tutto ascoltai… Non temer, amato bene” from Mozart’s opera Idomeneo.

JOSEPH HAYDN Overture to L'isola disabitata
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 19
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART “Non più. Tutto ascoltai… Non temer, amato bene”, K. 490
JOSEPH HAYDN Symphony No. 45 in F-sharp Minor, “Farewell”

Orchestra of St. Luke's
Bernard Labadie, Principal Conductor
Paul Lewis, Piano
Ying Fang, Soprano

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