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  • David Kiser

Music for On the Keys April 25, 2024

Updated: May 7

Thursdays at 8 pm on SCPR Classical Stations. 90.1 Greenville and parts of North Carolina and Georgia. 89. 3 Charleston. 91.3 Columbia. Find the live playlist and listen live online here:

Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major

On this Thursday's show I will explore the sound world of E-flat Major. The most obvious choice is the Emperor Concerto by Beethoven. I just love this recording with Maurizio Pollini and the RAI Symphony of Rome. This is the best of Pollini's young recordings:

Bach Prelude and Fugue in E-flat Major, BWV 552, "St. Anne"

This is a work that I have always wanted to play on the pipe organ. I don't have an instrument available to me to practice (or the time) at the moment, but a few years ago I enjoyed sight reading it the best I could. This is the version for piano by Feruccio Busoni. For some reason this was always off my radar. I knew about BWV 532 in D major and have featured Emil Gilels' performance of it on my show. You can actually find a video of me playing it on the organ here a number of years ago. At the time it was one of the most difficult pieces I had learned on the king of instruments.

In any case you'll hear an early recording on Naxos Historical featuring Edwin Fischer:

Schubert Impromptu in E-flat Major, Op. 90, no. 2

This is a special recording, an encore that Kempff played in 1955 after a concerto in Caracas. The audience LOVED it. We modern listeners might be off-put by the messiness of the performance but this is Kempff playing Schubert with a Latin American feel:

What are your favorite works in the noble and heroic key of E-flat Major for the piano? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. Have a musical week.


The famous opening cadenza from Beethoven's Emperor


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