Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58
I. Allegro moderato
II. Andante con moto
III. Rondo: Vivace
It is easy to recognize Piano Concerto No. 4. Unusually for the concerto, the orchestra entry is preceded by a chordal introduction of the solo piano. Only after that comes the traditional orchestral exposition of themes. The light, cheerful and playful rondo-finale is separated from the first movement by a meditative Andante played by the piano in a dialogue with the strings. The unique and distinctive style of the concerto, often overshadowed by the Emperor Concerto can be better appreciated when juxtaposed with Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, which were completed at the same time and were premiered together at Beethoven’s legendary benefit concert in December 1808. The chamber arrangement for piano and string quintet, made by the composer himself, enhances the intimate character of this luminous piece.