Notes From The Conductor: The Great Romantics
Even if there is a lot of dramatic material featured in this concert, for me it remains intimate and delicate. It’s music that offers many soft colours and creates an atmosphere for the audience.
The concert begins with the third movement of Beethoven’s last string quartet, which is played by the entire string section of the orchestra. It is powerful to hear how much the serenity and wisdom of an older composer is put into the music here. The theme of this movement will be used by Mahler later for his last movement (What loves tells me) of the Third Symphony.
Brahms first piano concerto with Charles is one of the highlights of the season for me because I have waited a long time to share the stage with such a wonderful player. Charles is a true poet on the piano and he has so many skills that will make this concerto a very special moment at the concert. This is a very early composition of Brahms and it is less cerebral than his later works which makes this piece very fresh and young.
Dvořák’s Eighth and Ninth symphonies are very well known, but the Seventh symphony is also as genius as his later ones. It goes along closer with Brahms because this symphony is based on Brahms’ Third symphony. It is performed in the very dramatic key of D minor, and Dvořák builds a lot of tension within the first movement. The poetry of the second movement is almost indescribable with Clarinet, Horn and Cello solos. As usual Dvořák has a dance-like Scherzo leading to a brutal finale movement. It all stays very dramatic in minor keys, but the last seconds of the piece are full of triumph and majestic colours.