Archduke Rudolf

Beethoven has composed his fifth, and, at the same time his last Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major in the midst of the Napoleonic Wars in Vienna occupied by French troops. 

The citizens were trying to survive in worsening conditions and Beethoven's initial admiration for Napoleon was replaced by an unambigous rejection. Beethoven wrote to Leipzig in September, 1809: „we have been in constant lack of money – goddamned war!” Early in 1810 the imperial family, having fled earlier from French troops, returned to Vienna and Beethoven who was glad to have his student and mentor, Archduke Rudolph back, dedicated his Piano Concerto in E flat major to him. The „semi-official” world premiere was held on January 13th of 1811 in the Viennese palace of Prince Lobkowitz with Archduke Rudolph at the piano. In the Anglo-Saxon world the subtitle of this piece is ‘Emperor’ coined by Johann Baptist Cramer, the English publisher of the concerto. On July 4th, within the framework of Vajdahunyad Castle Summer Music Festival, Balázs Fülei will play Beethoven's last piano concerto with the MÁV Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Imre Kollár. The venue is the Vajdahunyad Castle in City Park.

Tickets and information

Cover Image: Archduke Rudolf

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