Norwegian Dances Opus 35 Edvard Grieg
Tonight's concert spans the centuries from Mozart to Einaudi, taking in Beethoven and Gershwin along the way.
This evening's concert opens with Ludwig van Beethoven's Egmont Overture. It was written around 1809-10 as the opening piece of the incidental music for a play by Goethe. It tells the story of a 16th-century Dutch nobleman, the Count of Egmont, and in the music - which is in a similar style to the Fifth Symphony which he had completed two years earlier - Beethoven expressed his own political convictions through the exaltation of the heroic sacrifice of a man condemned to death for having taken a stand against oppression. The Overture became an unofficial anthem of the 1956 Hungarian revolution.
A piano interlude follows with Ludovico Einaudi playing his own composition, Berlin Song, which was featured in the TV series, This is England '88.
When the Count von Walsegg's wife Anna died on Valentine’s Day 1791, it set in motion a series of events that, one could argue, has never stopped. Walsegg, an accomplished musician himself, anonymously commissioned a Requiem from Mozart , totally spooking the already unstable composer in the process. Mozart became consumed by the work, believing he had been cursed to write a requiem for himself, because he was about to die. The opening movement, Requiem aeternam, was the only section to be completed. The rest of the Requiem was brushed into some sort of shape by Mozart’s only composition pupil, Sussmay. Regardless, the Requiem still sounds wonderful to most ears.
The concert ends in fizzing style with the Piano Concerto in F by George Gershwin. Composed in 1925, it represents one of his finest syntheses of the classical and jazz traditions and demonstrates his extraordinary skill as a tunesmith. Xiayin Wang has previously shown her natural affinity with Gershwin’s music and applies all the same verve, brilliance and delight to this new version of the concerto.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Egmont Overture
Jos van Immerseel conducts Anima Eterna
Ludovico Einaudi: Berlin Song
Piano: Ludovico Einaudi
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Requiem
Soloists: Lynne Dawson, Jard van Nes, Keith Lewis, Simon Estes
Carlo Maria Giulini conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus
George Gershwin: Concerto in F
Piano: Xiayin Wang
Peter Oundjian conducts the Royal Scottish National Orchestra