The two main works in this concert, dedicated to Ludwig van Beethoven, were written during a dark and difficult period. In 1809 the composition of Piano Concerto no. 5 was interrupted by political events: Vienna was invaded by the French. Beethoven was obliged to hide and the score was only completed at the end of that year. Beethoven’s final concerto for piano thrills us with its energy, its balance and its brilliance. Egmont, gave Beethoven the chance to compose music for the stage on a text by one of his favourite poets, Goethe, and to tell the unhappy story of the Count of Egmont, condemned to death after the rebellion against the Spanish occupation. A desire for freedom, hope and a spirit of rebellion are also at the heart of the Leonore overture.