Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan is honoring Beethoven’s 250th anniversary with a collaborative recording.
With frequent collaborator Alan Gilbert conducting London’s Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Mr. Barnatan is set to release a complete cycle of Beethoven concertos on the Pentatone label in two volumes, one in the fall and one in the spring. This first volume will come out October 18 and will feature the First, Third, Fourth and Triple Concerto with violinist Stefan Jackiw and cellist Alisa Weilerstein.
“Hearing [Beethoven’s concertos] was one of my earliest musical memories,” Barnatan said. “They have been a constant in my life as both listener and player. Every time I return to one of them there are further discoveries to be made, greater depths to be mined, and more conversations to be had with the music.”
Mr. Barnatan has had a longstanding collaborative relationship with Mr. Gilbert – who praises him as “the complete artist: a wonderful pianist, a probing intellect, [and] passionately committed” – which included serving as the inaugural Artist-in-Association with the New York Philharmonic during the last three years of the conductor’s tenure with that orchestra.
He also considers each of the participants in this recording, from conductor to orchestra to fellow soloists to producer Adam Abeshouse, his “musical family,” having had multiple and meaningful collaborations with each for many years, and the recording itself represents the culmination of years of work on the part of all participants.
In addition to many performances throughout the year, in the spring Barnatan will participate in a uniquely ambitious Beethoven celebration, when he joins conductor Louis Langrée and the Cincinnati Symphony to recreate Beethoven’s legendary 1808 Akademie concert, his last public performance as a concert pianist. The versatile pianist will also do something else Beethoven did during that concert in 1808: play a totally improvised work.