Piano Concerto no 1, opus 15‏ – Beethoven

by richibi

 "A New Year's Nocturne, New York" - Childe Hassam

A New Year’s Nocturne, New York (1892)

Childe Hassam


for the past several days, I’ve been
humming the first two movements
of Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto,
the opus 15, being carried away by
the exhilarating energy of its
initial, adamant and authoritative,
dazzling and irresistible “allegro
con brio”,
followed by the melting
beauty of its contrasting counterpart,
the meditative and enchanting “largo”,
the final “rondo – allegro sostenuto”
is coming along, but by that time I’m
out of wind and lost in wonder at
Beethoven’s already accomplishment,
the final movement is like the
strawberry on top once I’ve had the
prerequisite cheesecake, verging on
anticlimactic, however thrilling

his First is actually his second piano
concerto, written in 1797, but
composed after his opus 19, written
in 1787, not published until 1801,
either way a new voice was evident

Beethoven’s music was written for
a larger stage, no longer the salons
of the aristocracy, nor, for that matter,
the pews of the fragmenting Christian
Church, the growing middle class
was becoming able and willing to
spend and splurge on frivolities and
entertainment, theatres, concert halls
were popping up, and prospered

Beethoven had to dazzle a
heterogeneous crowd, no longer
just a circle of familiars


and watch, Leonard Bernstein is

this is my New Year’s Eve Vienna
performance no matter who is
doing it there this year, nor, for
that matter, that it wasn’t even
performed for New Year’s Eve,
for me, it catches fire, inspires,
it is my New Year’s resolution

I hope it’ll do the same for yours