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Nobel Prize Concert 2020

The spectacular Igor Levit is the soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5.

The Nobel Prize Concert of 2020 with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, was led by acclaimed French conductor Stéphane Denève. The piano soloist Igor Levit is admired for his unparalleled interpretations of Beethoven’s music. His recitals of Beethoven’s piano sonatas at Konserthuset Stockholm during the Beethoven year 2020 garnered significant attention. In the intermission we meet them both, interviewed by Ella Petersson of the Swedish Television.

In this concert, Igor Levit performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, known as the Emperor Concerto. The first movement is powerful and begins with masterful cadences; the second movement is introverted, with a nearly improvisational solo section, while the finale is an energetic, dancing, jubilant rondo which Beethoven charged with contrasts and enormous pathos.

French Guillaume Connesson (born in 1970) composed his intense and energetic piece Flammenschrift (”fiery script”) in 2012. The title refers to Goethe, but according to Connesson the piece is also a psycological portrait of Beethoven’s wild personality, and in a broader sense a tribute to German music in general; there are traces of Brahms and Richard Strauss as well.

Swedish Andrea Tarrodi (born in 1981) wrote Solus for London’s Last Night of the Proms 2020. The commission came with a request to contemplate on the corona pandemic. Tarrodi chose to focus on its consequences: people’s sense of loneliness and isolation. She has described the music as a long crescendo, starting in dark sonoroties.

The Firebird is the first of the three major ballets Igor Stravinsky composed for Diaghilev’s Russian Ballet in Paris. The story is based on a Russian folktale and when it first premiered in 1910 at the Paris Opera, it was an enormous success. Stravinsky uses a huge orchestra with two harps, a celesta and abundant wind instruments to illustrate the story of Prince Ivan, who is lost in an enchanted garden when he meets the Firebird.

  • The music

  • Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 "Emperor"
  • Intermission: Speach by Stéphane Denève and Igor Levit
  • Guillaume Connesson Flammenschrift
  • Andrea Tarrodi Solus
  • Igor Stravinsky From The Firebird Suite (1945)
  • Participants

  • Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Stéphane Denève conductor
  • Igor Levit piano
  • From a livestream 8 December 2020.
  • The video is approximately one hour and 23 minutes. 
  • The concert can be seen until 7 December 2021.
  • In cooperation with Nobel Prize Outreach AB and Sverige Television.
  • Subtitles in English, Swedish, German and French is activated by using the CC control in the video player.