Premi?red in 1803, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto in C minor is a curiously double-faced work. The structure of its movements follows the classical model inherited from Mozart, and critics never fail to draw attention to its similarity with Mozart’s K491 C-minor Concerto; however, in terms of filling the form, the musical character and the organisation of the musical process, Beethoven has struck out on a new path. He expanded the framework itself, and the opening movement of the Concerto in C minor begins with the composer’s longest orchestral exposition, which is of a symphonic scale. It is Beethoven’s only concerto in a minor key, and is related to numerous other concertos in C minor composed around the same time (including the ‘Sonata Pathétique’ and many other chamber works). Many critics consider the relentlessly grim main theme and heroic character of the first movement to be a forerunner to the Coriolan Overture and the Fifth Symphony. Composed in the very remote E major key, the middle movement begins with an intimate solo reminiscent of the slow movement of a piano sonata. This music speaks in the voice of the mature Beethoven. The angular, dance-like rondo theme is interesting for its occasional grotesque accents. At the end of the movement the swifter coda shifts from double time to 3/8 and also from C minor to C major, giving the work an ecstatically optimistic ending.