Beethoven: Sparks of Joy – Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 19
What was published as Beethoven’s second piano concerto was actually composed between 1787 and 1789 while Beethoven still lived in Bonn. He took it with him to Vienna, probably premiered it at the Burgtheater in 1795, and wrote a different finale for a 1798 performance in Prague. It was an important display piece for the young composer’s virtuosity at the keyboard.
Appropriately, the 12-year-old Harmony Zhu performed this concerto with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Arie Vardi, demonstrating impeccable technique as well as maturity well beyond her years. [Notes by Margaret Scialdone.]