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Belgian National Orchestra, González-Monjas & Gerstein

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Bartók Piano Concerto 3 & Beethoven 5

Fleeing World War II, the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók spent the last years of his life in America. In 1945, he conceived a plan to write a piano concerto for his second wife’s birthday. However, this light and airy work was never completed: Bartók died 17 bars from the end of the score. Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is perhaps the most famous work in the history of classical music. The strongly rhythmic opening motif - three short beats and one long beat - would once have been described by Beethoven as fate knocking at the door”. The ominous strokes of fate from the first movement undergo several metamorphoses, finally returning in the fourth movement in a bright, triumphant march.