KING STEPHEN OVERTURE Opus 117 In 1811 the managers of the New Theater at Pesth commissioned a work based on the Hungarian history. The poet Kotzebue wrote a trilogy, based and Beethoven was commissioned to write the vocal and instrumental music. King Stephen, Hungary’s first Benefactor was first performed in 1812.
PIANO CONCERTO IN A minor Opus 16 Edvard Grieg had beginner’s luck with his A Minor Piano Concerto. Written when the composer was 25, it is one of the most performed piano concertos in the repertoire, and, along with the Peer Gynt suites, Grieg’s most popular work. The concerto opens with a Timpani roll setting up what is arguably the grandest opening sequence of any piano concerto. He preferred to think of his musical compositions as ‘villages, places where people can feel happy and comfortable’. He used, as his inspiration the colours and characteristics of Norwegian folk music.
SYMPHONY No 6 ‘PASTORALE’ in F Major Opus 68 Beethoven's 6th Symphony is a kaleidoscope of colour, using simple folk like tunes and conventional classical thematic development. It depicts a day in the country and for the only time in Beethoven’s life did he give each individual movement a title. Some have said that this piece reflects Beethoven’s feelings towards the natural world, one in which his encroaching deafness was bound to be taken from him. The composition was first sketched in 1802 and premiered in an extraordinary concert Beethoven held in 1808. Beethoven loved the country and he was frequently walking the rural locations around Vienna. He said his sixth symphony is “more the expression of feeling than painting”.