Beethoven: The Piano Concertos
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Beethoven: The Piano Concertos

Jayson Gillham, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Nicholas Carter

‘The idea of pairing Australia’s finest up and coming pianist with our finest contemporary conductor to perform and record a cycle is a great one.’ - Limelight

ABC Classic is thrilled to announce the release of the complete piano concertos by Beethoven, performed by pianist Jayson Gillham, with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Carter.

This cycle - the first in twenty years recorded with an Australian pianist, conductor and orchestra - is a major contribution to the ongoing celebrations of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary.

Beethoven’s five piano concertos stand at the very pinnacle of classical music. Written between 1795 and 1809, they trace the evolution of Beethoven’s music from the inheritor of the Classical style perfected by Mozart and Haydn, to the inventor of a style that was entirely his own: dramatic, expressive, and revolutionary.

Recorded in five concerts performed over 10 days at Adelaide’s Elder Hall in June 2019, these recordings capture a soloist, conductor and orchestra totally in synch with each other, with a shared vision for the sound world and rhetoric of these mighty works. Reviews of the concert remarked at the “chamber music-like intimacy” between the performers, with a “sense of balance and support… often never heard before within these well-known and much listened to works” (Limelight).

Review

Happy 250th Birthday Beethoven! The classical music world is going mad for all new Beethoven recordings and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra is jumping on that bandwagon. Teaming up with fellow Australian pianist Jayson Gillham, the ASO have released recordings of their Piano Concerto Cycle from 2019.

Recorded over a short ten days in June, this is the first time in twenty years that there has been a completely Australian recording of the Beethoven Piano Concertos. Australian favourite Nicholas Carter is at the helm as conductor and it is apparent from the very first notes that it is an assured and exacting recording. Precise in their interpretation of the pieces, there is nonetheless the fluidity found in a live performance. This was recorded towards the end of Carter’s reign as the ASO’s chief conductor and the four years the performers have had together have clearly produced a synergy to their performances. Each solo, from woodwind to strings to piano, is beautifully expressed and the only downside to this recording is that there isn’t a DVD to go with it. I’d love to see the interplay between these extraordinary Australian musicians.


Kate Rockstrom is a friend of Readings.

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