Artist: Maria Joao Pires, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Harding
Title: Beethoven – Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 4
Genre: classical
Release Date: 2014
Duration: 01:11:29
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz
Label: Onyx Classics

This release on the Onyx Classics label has no right to be as good as it is. Pianist Maria-Joo Pires, 70 years old when the album appeared in 2014, has never been known as a Beethoven specialist. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Harding is a competent group, surely, but hardly on Europe’s or even Scandinavia’s A-list. The Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37, and Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58, hardly lack for varied and incisive interpretations. Yet there it is: this one delivers ideas that nobody else has offered before. In a nutshell, Pires makes the piano the quiet partner to a rather martial orchestra in these works. The Third Concerto loses its epic quality and has Pires offering gentle answers to the orchestra’s turbulent phrases, with a slow movement that brings to mind Pires’ true specialty: Chopin. The tempos are generally deliberate, and the long opening movement of the Piano Concerto No. 3 gives the feeling that every note fits into a larger structure. The overall effect is wondrously lyrical, yet very well controlled on the part of both soloist and conductor, who seem really to have worked these performances out together. Those who really do not like low-key Beethoven might think twice about this, but even so might find it extraordinary.


extremely beautiful … striking insights
— The Guardian

This recording is clearly the work of a mature and intelligent artist with a clear interpretative vision for these concertos.
— Fanfare

Her approach to Beethovens Third and Fourth Piano Concertos is infused with Mozartian purity…which she applies to profoundly personal expression. Her technique is crystalline, her tone opulent, her intent unambiguous, her ego absent. –Santa Fe New Mexican

The lovely, often grandly lit performances of these two Beethoven concertos celebrate the memory of Claudio Abbado. –4 Stars, Audiophile Audition


  1. Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor Op.37 – I.Allegro con brio – 17:15
  2. Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor Op.37 – II.Largo – 9:51
  3. Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor Op.37 – III.Rondo. Allegro – 9:21
  4. Piano Concerto No.4 in G major Op.58 – I.Allegro moderato – 19:43
  5. Piano Concerto No.4 in G major Op.58 – II.Andante con moto – 4:57
  6. Piano Concerto No.4 in G major Op.58 – III.Rondo. Vivace – 10:24