Greatest Piano Concertos of All Time

plmilligan1968

What are the 10 greatest Piano Concertos of all time? Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

1
Beethoven's 5th (Emperor) Piano Concerto
I do love Rachmaninov and probably would have given his 2nd Piano Concerto the top, until I heard this piece in concert for the first time several years ago. These votes can only be about those very razor-edge personal preferences so I will only focus on trying to explain that side of it. I suppose my heart chooses it above anything else because I feel the gamete of positive energies about life. The first movement feels like a complete whirlwind of complex, cascading and harmonious melodies. It deconstructs the mind while at the same time opens it to the sublime 2nd movement. While a second movement can often fall flat emotionally for me, I would never get tired of listening this one, where notes seem to fall like delicate drops of pensive rain. The pinnacle of the concerto for me, and perhaps one of the greatest highs to be found in all of music, is the incredible transition in last minute at the end of the 2nd where a simple theme is introduced and then just explodes out into a powerful 3rd movement in the structure of the 7-part rondo. I am in awe at the originality and beauty of this piece. One of my great regrets in life is that I came to this piece relatively late in my classical listening life when compared to the Mozart Piano Concertos and the Beethoven Symphonies. When I think how often I listened to the 5th, 7th, and 9th symphonies growing up, it is a regret to me that I did not have this piece in this same mix. On an emotional level, it would be a great tragedy for me if someone were to live their entire life and never heard this concerto from start to finish.
It is the greatest work ever written for piano concerto. I believe that it should be in the first rank. It is very powerful and full of energy.
This is the first time this greatest piece is second to one in this sort of list. It's a shame. Music is solely subject to personal taste, yet there
Is something that never changes. This work is per se "Emperor" of all comcerti.
More comments about Beethoven's 5th (Emperor) Piano Concerto

2Tchaikovsky's 1st Piano Concerto
Nearly 140 years later, the incredible originality of this work may be lost on some. But NO ONE had ever written a concerto like this before. The wild prestissimo in the second movement has moments that are almost atonal (in fact Tchaikovsky was called by a critic of the time an ULTRA MODERN composer! ). But innovation alone doesn't make a work great: this work has surpassing dramatic power as well as beauty. The gradual crescendo in the final movement before the octave peroration always gets me. No other piece quite like it.
It's grand structure surpasses nearly all other piano concertos out there. The thematic material is so beautiful and peaceful. How could you not love it?
absolute stunner, the first movement is just amazing, and makes me tingle a lot when I hear it
More comments about Tchaikovsky's 1st Piano Concerto

3Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto
After every movement, you wonder "the next can't possibly be as good - but it is. All three movements, despite very different moods, are beautifully linked together. This is perhaps my all-time favorite classical piece of music. A masterpiece.
In my opinion, one of the only piano concertos that is "essential" to the classical repertoire. Here is forty-five minutes of a man's personal reflection on his own life experiences. The epitome of romanticism.
I love Rachmaninov. This composition is simply beautiful. When I first listen to the first movement I am immediately captured by the tune. Especially in in the second movement where he creates this romantic back and forth between the orchestra and piano. I simply wish people supported the classical music more than that of the pop culture currently existing.
More comments about Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto

4Modern Piano Concerto No.1 by Leszek Jasionowski
This concerto is an excellent example of "montage of attraction" in music.
It's got five amazing movements and never a dull moment.
Written in 2012, opens a new epoch in the piano concerto literature
More comments about Modern Piano Concerto No.1 by Leszek Jasionowski

5Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1
Chopin's Piano Concerto 1 transmits the various emotion into my innermost. I love this concerto so much, especially 1st movement. In my opinion Yundi Li is the best interpreter of this piece
The intensity of the first movement and the delicacy of the second movement and the climax in the third are what make this piece so wonderful~
It's really beautiful and reminds us of the beauty of the piano itself, its unique self in between the orchestra. The finale is really beautiful.
More comments about Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1

6Rachmaninov's 3rd Piano Concerto
No other single piece of music has ever come so close to perfection as the iconic 'Rach 3'. Just the very mention of the nickname sends chills up any budding pianist's spine. As Everest is to the climber, Rachmaninoff's 3rd piano concerto cemented it's place in history when Rachmaninoff himself held up his hands after it's debut, unable to play an encore due to exhaustion. One would think that what has become universally known as the single most difficult piece of music ever written for the piano is also one of the most hauntingly beautiful and lyrical pieces of music anywhere. It is pieces such as this and Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe, that ushered in the period of atonality, because composers could not longer do better. Rachmaninoff on several occasions peaked the art form with such searing beauty that the competition folded. Detractors such as Stravinsky, once wrote extremely tonal and lyrical music which besides a few obscure pieces, none of us remember today. Everyone remembers the 'Rach 3'. It's place in history is secure. WITHOUT QUESTION, Rachmaninoff's 3rd Piano Concerto is the greatest piano concerto ever written now and forevermore.
Hard to beat the famous cadenza, and the 2nd to 3rd movement transition is breathtaking and astounding.
This in my opinion is the best piece of music of any type. Maybe even the peak of human achievement. Difficult beyond belief yet beautiful. Rolling difficult passages surge beneath the main melody. Powerful some times and delicate at other times. The only thing close is Rachmaninov's 2nd and Grieg's piano concerto.
More comments about Rachmaninov's 3rd Piano Concerto

7Mozart's 20th Piano Concerto
In my opinion, this is Mozart's best piano concerto. It is mysterious, lyrical, passionate, and leaves the listener in utter awe. I think it even surpasses the piano concertos of Beethoven and Rachmaninoff. It is daring and difficult, but serene and tranquil. Only beauty such as this could be conceived by our dear Mozart.
The most remarkable 30 minutes of musical pleasure I know of in more than 50 years of watching the greats play this piece.
With 24th piano concerto in c-minor, this is Mozart's best piano concerto. I love it!
More comments about Mozart's 20th Piano Concerto

8Mozart's 21st Piano Concerto
One of Mozart's most well known pieces of music. Very soft and exquisite themes.

plmilligan1968

Wonderful, joyful concerto. My favorite concerto and Mozart piece. The third movement leaves me speechless every time. This concerto leaved me overjoyed in an indescribable way.
One of the most delicate concertos ever. Full of invention and wonderful melodic lines.

9Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2
I believe it to show every stage of romance from the start falling in love all the way to coming to terms with heartbreak
Nobody knows how to play it, only kristian zimerman with polish festival orchestra, amazing performance

10Grieg's Piano Concerto
It's beautiful lines soar and the small solo bursts from other instruments bring this from any other concerto to one that captivates and mesmerizes every time, especially due to the beautiful cadenzas as well as the tones that can break your heart from beauty.
Griegs most well known and best composition.

plmilligan1968


The Contenders

11Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.3
I would find this Piano Concerto more beautiful than #5, but #5 is more powerful and more difficult.
Some people, including myself, claim that this concerto is better than Beethoven's No.5

leszekjasionowski

To my mind, this concerto is better than Beethoven's No.5
More comments about Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.3

12Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1
This should definitely be in the Top 5! An underrated concerto, it is difficult to understand, but absolutely amazing when you understand it. The orchestral parts are the works of a genius. A grand, temptestuous opening begins the first movement while in other places the atmosphere is dark and devastating. The second movement is extremely wonderful and emotional, while the third grasps the listener's attention immediately.
Turbulent and passionate, it never lets up. A smaller canvas than Brahms' No. 2, but one of the greats.
Dramatic, exciting, beautiful, electric. This concerton fizzes with life, and feels as fresh and new as if it were just written yesterday.
More comments about Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1

13Schumann Piano Concerto in A Minor
One of the most amazing works by Robert Schumann, a masterpiece. The beautiful first movement, the short and sweet intermezzo connected to the cheerful major third movement contrasts with each other very well.
What a unity of structure... The opening motif keeps ringing throughout the whole work. Very lucid
This concert should be higher in the list considering that both Grieg and Brahms used it as a model for their concertos

14Beethoven Piano Concerto no.4 in G
Incredible throughout its three movements.
The second movement is astonishingly "avant-guard" and
Full of drama.
I rate this concerto even higher than Beethoven´┐Ż's more
Famous 5th piano concerto (Emperor).
The greatest. Sublime. Transcendent. I can't find words to express what I feel when listening this music. Notes just go trough me
In my opinion, this piano concerto is even better than Beethoven's piano concerto #5 and #3
More comments about Beethoven Piano Concerto no.4 in G

15Mozart's 24th Piano Concerto
Considered to be one of Mozarts best compositions which says it all.

plmilligan1968

If god exists - he is heard in thismasterpeice

16Mozart's 22nd Piano Concerto
One of Mozarts most melodic & eloquant piano concertos.

plmilligan1968

My favorite of all of Mozart's Piano Concertos. Intricate writing particularly for the wind instruments.
This piano concerto sounds very elegant but very tricky to play.

17Mozart Piano Concerto No.23

18Brahms Piano Concerto no.2 in B flat major
I believe that Brahms 2nd is the most magnificent piano concerto ever written. It is on my list of the top 5 compositions of all time along with Beethoven's 5th symphony, Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, Schubert's 20th piano sonata and Beethoven's 13th quartet (with Grosse fugue).
I Think of this as one of the most complete piano concertos ever made. Brahms merges himself with the future and the past.
A piano concerto on the grand scale. Complete in emotional depth, sophisticated in intellectual content, and breathtakingly beautiful, this is a true masterpiece.
More comments about Brahms Piano Concerto no.2 in B flat major

19Saint-Seans - Piano Concerto No. 2
Saint Saens, definitely the most underrated of composers.
My favourite and one of the best (in my humble opinion) piano concertos of all time.
The opening cadenza in G minor is astonishing.
Perfect structure

20Ravel - Piano Concerto In G-major
Incredible stuff, there are times I will listen to this almost every night. It has almost a progressive-rock quality to it, especially the first movement.

21Liszt - Piano Concerto No. 1

22Mozart Piano Concerto no.25 in C
This concerto by Mozart is in my humble opinion "a symphony with piano". Why? Because the Mozart's Piano Concerto no.25 in C major has a symphonic temperament similar to 41 th symphony called "Jupiter". In fact, the Mozart's Piano Concerto no.25 in C major has a pompous and joy taste like said symphony 41 th. One of the best piano concertos by Mozart along to 20, 21, 22, 24, 26 and 27.

23Kachaturian Piano Concerto

24Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 1
A short but thunderous - and extremely difficult - piano concerto by the master Sergej.
Should be in this list, so much underrated

25Bortkiewicz Piano Concerto no. 1
... Oh my god.

26Bartok - Piano Concerto No.3

27Saint-Saens - Piano Concerto No.5 'Egyptian'
The most beautiful first movement, gives me goosebumps every time!
2nd movement with nice exotic element.
3rd movement how exciting is this? Love it love it! Especially the recap!
Camille was to Egypte to composing

28Bach's Concerto I in D minor, BWV 1052

29Wojciech Kilar - Piano Concerto No. 1

30Dohnanyi Piano Concerto No. 1

31Mendelssohn - Piano Concerto No. 2

32Poulenc's Piano Concerto

33Bortkiewicz Piano Concerto No. 2

34Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 2

35J Joe Townley's Second Piano Concerto
I love the orchestration and the virtuosic piano passages!

36Prokofiev Concerto. No. 2
Probably the most difficult of all piano concertos, but that's not what's important.. But the great emotion Prokofiev gives us, seems like a different side of Prokofiev (quite different from the first or third concerto at least). To me it feels like anxiety and longing.
Absolutely one of the greatest underrated concertos in the repertoire. Incredible wonderful.
Prokofiev's 2 it's perfect!
More comments about Prokofiev Concerto. No. 2

Comments About This List

Featured Lists
Popular Lists
New Lists

Top Remixes of This List

pianocrazy4578

DisinheritedKnight

dt61325

lesjason

leszekjasionowski

see more...

Posts About This List

List Info

This list was created 6 years, 7 days ago and has been voted on over 1,000 times. This top ten list has been remixed 5 times.

Updated Saturday, August 30, 2014


List Error Reporting

See an item on this list that's misspelled, duplicated, or doesn't belong? Let us know. Click here to report the error.