Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58, part 3
Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58, part 3
Ludwig van Beethoven
Michel Dalberto and Virgile Roche address tempo, dynamics, and other topics.
Produced by the Saline royale Academy in October, 2021 at Arc-et-Senans.
In this masterclass, Michel Dalberto works with Virgile Roche to elevate his performance of the first movement of Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto. Dalberto encourages him to maintain a clear tempo and not rush through tricky passages or slow too much in simpler sections.
In addition, they discuss the different styles of Beethoven’s cadenzas, how to prepare them and implement them. Dalberto gives an overview of Beethoven’s use of dynamics and suggests the student make a larger difference between piano and pianissimo, as well as forte and fortissimo. He distinguishes between moments when the soloist must play out, and moments when the piano must be quieter so that important sections in the orchestra can be heard. Throughout, Dalberto offers suggestions for phrasing that bring more clarity and expressivion to the student’s performance.
Knowing when to play less so that orchestral part can be heard.
How to choose which cadenza to play.
Bringing out contrast in dynamics.
Highlighting the expressive markings and important moments.
Beethoven premiered his fourth concerto himself in 1807, during the same concert he conducted the premieres of the fifth and sixth symphonies. Unfortunately, overshadowed by some of the composer’s other works, the concerto was not programmed after the premiere until Mendelssohn revived it in 1836. Now, however, it is an audience favorite. The concerto makes use of some developments in piano making at the time, such as the addition of three keys and a new pedal system. The first movement, Allegro moderato, opens with the solo piano, forgoing the traditional orchestral introduction. The music is full of grace and lyricism, rather than the dramatic dynamic and mood changes expected from Beethoven’s writing. For the cadenza, the soloist has several options to choose from, by Beethoven himself as well as other famous composers. The second movement, Andante con moto, is the standout movement of the concerto. The lyrical piano melody trades off with the more sombre orchestral accompaniment, and has often been associated with the image of Orpheus taming the Furies in the Underworld, though there is no evidence a specific program was intended. The piece concludes with Rondo (Vivace), a straightforward but spirited ending characterized by rhythmic virtuosity.
Fortissimo is not a forte, pianissimo is not a piano. We need to hear the difference.
Aim for excellence! You can improve your skills with expert advice. Download the annotated sheet music of this piano masterclass. Please note that this piece has been annotated in accordance to Michel Dalberto’s feedback and comments.
Born in Paris in 1955 into a family with origins in the Dauphiné and the Italian Piedmont, Michel Dalberto began playing the piano at the age of three. He played in public for the first time at the age of five and a half, and at the early age of thirteen joined Vlado Perlemuter's class at the Paris Conservatoire.
At the age of twenty, he won the 1st Mozart Competition in Salzburg and was unanimously awarded the Clara Haskil Prize. In 1978 he was awarded the 1st Prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition. Other accolades include the Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles-Cros, the Prix de l'Académie du Disque Français, the Diapason d’Or, and the Echo Prize in Germany.
He has been invited to play in most of the European musical centers with some of the most prestigious conductors. Since the beginning of his career, Michel Dalberto has been recognized as one of the leading interpreters of Schubert and Mozart. Moreover, he is the only living pianist to have performed and recorded the complete piano works of Schubert. Recent recordings include the complete chamber music of Fauré with Renaud Capuçon and the Quatuor Ebène (winner of the German Echo Prize), the Schubert cycles 'Winter Journey' and 'Swan Song' with baritone Stephan Genz.
Additionally, Michel Dalberto is a celebrated chamber musician who has played with the world’s greatest instrumentalists. Parallel to his career as a musician, Dalberto has conducted orchestras in Asia and in Europe.
He was appointed Professor at the Paris Conservatoire in September 2011 and has a regular relationship with the Tianjin Conservatory. He has previously been invited to give masterclasses at the Accademia Pianistica in Imola, the Hochschule in Hanover, the Royal College in Manchester, and more.
In 1996 the Minister of Culture made him a Chevalier in the National Order of Merit in recognition of his artistic activity.
Born in Bonn, Germany in 1770, Ludwig van Beethoven is one of the most mainstream references of Classicism — a pianist, composer, and an unequivocal genius. Descending from a long line of musicians, Beethoven studied music from an early age, beginning with the piano, clarinet, and the organ. At the ripe age of 11-years-old, Beethoven received his first job as a court organist, replacing his own teacher for a period of time. A veritable young prodigy, Beethoven was publicly compared to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and a few years later, the young musician traveled to Vienna to briefly study under the tutelage of Mozart himself. In his late 20s, Beethoven noticed difficulties with his hearing and by his mid 40s, he was completely deaf and unable to vocally communicate. Despite this misfortune, he remarkably continued to compose music. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 was written after he had entirely lost his hearing. While his early musical career heavily reflected the Viennese Classical tradition inherited by the likes of Mozart and Haydn, Beethoven achieved a unique revolutionary identity by the end of his career. Deceased in 1827, his wake was a public event that gathered around 10,000 people. Despite his passing, Beethoven’s legacy lives on. His works anticipated many of the features that would characterize music in the romantic era and even that of the 20th century.