From 2015, Lang Lang performs Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto # 1 in B flat minor with Paavo Järvi conducting the Orchestre de Paris.
As brilliant as this work from Tchaikovsky is, the question of its introduction has always been a sore point for critics and enthusiasts. The concerto's first theme, which follows the famous introduction, is based on a melody that Tchaikovsky heard performed by blind beggar-musicians at a market in Kamenka (near Kiev), is notable for its apparent formal independence from the rest of the movement and from the concerto as a whole, especially given its setting not in the work’s nominal key of B-flat minor but rather in D-flat major, that key's relative major. Despite the introductions very substantial nature, this first theme is only heard twice, and it never reappears at any later point in the concerto. Because of its independence from the rest of the work
the introduction posed an enigma to analysts and critics alike.
As definitive a puzzlement as it is, the work continues on with the rest of the first movement as well as the brilliant second and third movements seeming to be linked quite inconspicuously , albeit quite subtly.
BARENBOIM/ ZUBIN MEHTA
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