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Piano Concerto No.5 in Eb Op 73 'Emperor' 1st movement Beethoven Help Opus Details
For feedback and questions, please contact Victor Gomersall.
This Sibelius score was meticulously created and perfected by Noel Woodhouse, Queensland, Australia. Many thanks, Noel, for offering to share all your hard work in the public domain.

Beethoven wrote 5 piano concertos, so this one is his last and most heroic. The piano shows real strength against the power of the orchestra, it ranks equal to it in importance.In English-speaking countries this concerto has acquired the subtitle ‘Emperor’, but this name was never given to it by Beethoven. The name was probably penned by John Baptist Cramer, a pianist and music publisher based in London, who was a long-time friend of Beethoven and champion of his music. The title seems suitable, though, given the work’s majestic grandeur and breadth of conception. Interestingly, it is in the same key and on a similar scale as the ‘Eroica’ Symphony of 1803, which had originally been dedicated to Napoleon, the emperor who had, by the time of the Fifth Piano Concerto, invaded Vienna, forcing many, including Archduke Rudolph, to flee the city.

This first movement is marked allegro. It begins with three full orchestra chords, each followed by a short cadenza, improvisatory in nature but written out in the score. This was a totally new way of opening a concerto, giving immediate prominence to the piano. This movement uses simple chords, including a second theme constructed almost entirely out of tonic and dominant notes and chords. However, it is full of complex thematic transformations. The complexity is intensified once the piano enters with the first theme, as the expository material is repeated with far more complex variations, virtuoso figurations, and complex modified chords. The second theme enters in B major.

After the opening cadenza, the movement follows the classical sonata structure for a concerto. The orchestral exposition is a typical two-theme sonata exposition, but the "second exposition" with the piano has a triumphant virtuoso third theme at the end that belongs solely to the solo instrument. The heroic nature of the movement is perhaps exemplified in a passage in the development section, where it seems the piano and the orchestra are going to war, and the piano wins.
Category: Concerto Orchestra Featuring Piano Classical Period
Time Signature 4 /4 Key Signature   Eb Major Play MP3 using player below.

1    The first theme is strong and noble, as befits an emperor.
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