The title ‘The Emperor’ seems appropriate for Beethoven’s majestic final piano concerto – but it is not a name that would have pleased the composer, whose politics were as revolutionary as his music. The moniker was added by Beethoven’s London publisher and is only used in the English-speaking world.
At approximately forty minutes in duration, the fifth is the longest of Beethoven’s piano concertos, and it borders on the symphonic in its scale and ambition.
Emmanuel Ax performs the work with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under the direction of chief conductor, David Robertson. The concert is streamed live at 10:20 GMT on 21 June 2014 (20:20 in Sydney, 11:20 in London, 06:20 in New York). You can watch a recording from this page at any time once it has finished.
This performance completes Emanuel Ax and the SSO’s performance of all Beethoven’s piano concertos this June. Recordings of the other performances are available to watch on BBC Culture: