Critic’s Choice

Wed Feb 27, 2019 at 6:21 pm

Beethoven

 We may never settle the debate over which of Beethoven’s works is the most “revolutionary.” The bad boy of the early Romantic, he was constantly pushing the boundaries of the genres in which he worked. Perhaps the most frequently cited mould-breaking masterwork is the Symphony No. 3. In scope alone, the “Eroica” dwarfed any predecessor, clocking in at 45 minutes. But its construction, too, is remarkable, looking forward to Beethoven’s later works in the way it handles musical ideas, manipulating and reworking them until their possibilities have been nearly exhausted.

A prime opportunity to hear this warhorse comes this week, when the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra begins its 2019 residency at Carnegie Hall. On Saturday, Adam Fischer leads a program that features another of Beethoven’s great middle period works, the bracing Leonore Overture No. 3. Bartók’s Two Pictures offers a prickly contrast.

Adam Fischer leads the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in music of Beethoven and Bartók 8 p.m. Saturday at Carnegie Hall. Fischer leads a second program 3 p.m. Sunday, and Michael Tilson Thomas conducts two VPO concerts 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. carnegiehall.org


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