Piano Concerto No.4 in G major Op.58
Ludwig van Beethoven
Beethoven is the second most popular composer in the Ultimate Hall of Fame and this is the eighth of his 17 entries. This peaked at number 104 in 2003 and fell to its lowest position in the most recent chart, where it's sitting at 225.
Just imagine that you are the most famous composer in the world. Your public adores you. You've had huge success already with all sorts of works. And now, you've written your fourth piano concerto. Deciding who should play the solo piano part could surely be considered an afterthought. Every pianist in Europe would jump at the chance wouldn't they?
Apparently not. At least, not in the case of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4. After completing this concerto in 1806, the composer struggled to find anyone to perform it. So the work sat on a shelf, gathering dust, until its public premiere on 22nd December 1808. The eventual soloist? One Ludwig Van Beethoven. The man clearly had astonishing stamina. In the same concert, he conducted the premiere performances of his Symphony No. 5 and No. 6!
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