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Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez is among the Classic FM Hall of Fame favourites featured in tonight's Concert.
Tonight's concert opens with Haydn's Cello Concerto No.1 in C major. In the 1760s, Haydn made sure all his players in the Esterhazy orchestra played an important part in his newly composed symphonies. To ensure his best players stayed onside in the competitive orchestral environment, he increased the number of instrumentalists, but composed a number of appetising concertos to tempt the best players to stay onside. One such piece is the Cello Concerto No. 1, written for cellist Joseph Weigl. It was a present from Haydn - one that was subsequently lost until 1961, and re-premiered by master-cellist Mstislav Rostropovich.
Ravel's Pavane pour une infante defunte was written as a piano piece for Princesse Edmond de Polignac, whose father was Isaac Singer, the famous sewing machine manufacturer. Ravel was at pains to point out that, despite the title, the piece is not a funeral lament for a dead princess but ‘rather an evocation of the pavane that might have been danced by such a little princess as painted by Velazquez.’
The ever-popular Concierto de Aranjuez by Rodrigo was named after a famous royal site on the shore of the River Tagus (pictured), not far from Madrid, along the road to Andalusia. The composer himself said, 'In its melody the perfume of magnolias lingers, the singing of birds and the gushing of fountains.'
Next, Ludovico Einaudi joins the Royal Liverpool Philarmonic Orchestra to play Divenire. After this album was released in 2006, Einaudi went on tour to various parts of the UK, playing both the music on Divenire and orchestral arrangements of his most famous works to promote the album.
There’s an evergreen feeling to Brahms' Symphony No.4 – an almost autumnal sound. Having struggled for so long to find his own authentic voice amid the noise that followed Beethoven’s death, Brahms sounds free here; musically liberated. Rich orchestral colours abound, and melody after melody flows right across the orchestra. The triumphant sound of the finale is impossible to avoid, with Brahms using every instrument of the orchestra to drive onwards to the most thunderous and joy-filled conclusion.
Joseph Haydn: Cello Concerto No.1 in C major
Cello: Jian Wang
Muhai Tang conducts Gulbenkian Orchestra
Maurice Ravel: Pavane pour une infante defunte
Charles Dutoit conducts Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Joaquin Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez
Guitar: Charles Ramirez
Douglas Boyd conducts Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Ludovico Einaudi: Divenire
Piano: Ludovico Einaudi
Cello: Marco Decimo
Robert Ziegler conducts Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.4 in E minor Opus 98
Bernard Haitink conducts London Symphony Orchestra