Beethoven: Piano Concertos – No 2 in B flat major, Op 19; No 4 in G major, Op 58

Reviewed on Fri 08 Jun, 2018

These live performances are marked by a fresh, flowing sense of spontaneity, Vogt playing with relishable brio to offer an intriguing commentary on shape and detail.

Lars Vogt’s Beethoven Piano Concerto cycle concludes with sterling accounts of the Mozart-accented Second and impromptu-infused Fourth, the pianist leading a spry and balletic Royal Northern Sinfonia from the keyboard. Recorded live at the ensemble’s Sage, Gateshead-home, performances are marked by a fresh, flowing sense of spontaneity, Vogt playing with relishable brio to offer an intriguing commentary on shape and detail. The outer movements of the Second, the fleet, fluid finale especially, brim with vitality, the Adagio rich and warm, the overall effect balancing classical poise and posture with Vogt’s more energetic and unabashed conviction in its presaging of future triumphs. His treating of the Fourth’s innovative solo piano opening as an arpeggio presages a reading of considerable warmth and involving seriousness of purpose. The opening is shot through with often surprising but telling contrasts, the slow movement sculpted with becoming delicacy, the finale bursting with drama and poetry, the whole altogether authentically Beethovenian in its ardent, lyrical passion.
–Michael Quinn