Pianists who perform Beethoven's Concerto No. 1 in C Major usually fall into two groups: those who play the familiar, shorter cadenza and those who choose the longer, more difficult third cadenza written almost 15 years after the concerto's 1795 premiere. Short-and-early cadenza folks (Fleisher, Argerich, Gilels and Lupu) almost invariably place the concerto in a classical, almost Mozartean context; long-and-late ones (Richter, Michelangeli, Pollini) usually justify their choice with large-scale, dramatic performances that suggest the C Major concerto's Romantic progeny.
Count on Misha Dichter for something different.
When Dichter last appeared here four years ago, he presented a Beethoven Concerto No. 3 spiked with attitude. Last night in a performance of the Concerto No. 1 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor Marek Janowski in Meyerhoff Hall, he also flouted expectations: He used the long cadenza in a performance that emphasized the concerto's classical antecedents.