Double Concerto in A minor Opus 102 Johannes Brahms
On the Full Works Concert this evening, a Beethoven overture written for a play, one of Bach’s finest concertos, Brahms’ Symphony No.3 and music by the Swedish composer Wilhelm Stenhammar.
Tonight's concert opens with Ludwig van Beethoven's Coriolan overture. It was written in 1807 for a tragic play about the ancient Roman leader Coriolanus (but not Shakespeare's version.) The structure and themes of the overture follow the play very generally. The main C minor theme represents Coriolanus' resolve and war-like tendencies (he is about to invade Rome), while the more tender E-flat major theme represents the pleadings of his mother to desist. Coriolanus eventually gives in to tenderness, but since he cannot turn back having led an army of his former enemies to Rome's gates, he kills himself.
Bach's Concerto in D minor for two violins was originally composed in 1717. In 1730, the composer (pictured) made a transcription for two harpsichords and when the original manuscript was lost, Bach specialists were able to reconstruct it from the harpsichord version. The slow movement is one of Bach’s most sublime creations.
Brahms's often overlooked third symphony is also the most lyrical and best crafted. Sweeping string lines and beautifully autumnal woodwind passages make this a delight. Hans Richter, who conducted its premiere proclaimed it to be Brahms ' ‘Eroica’. The influential music critic Hanslick said, of all Brahms’ symphonies, the third struck him ‘as being artistically the most nearly perfect.’
Wilhelm Stenhammar (1871-1927) was considered the finest Swedish pianist of his time. He made his reputation with his Piano Concerto No.1 in B flat minor, which was heavily influenced by Brahms. Stenhammar performed the concerto himself, and it was a great success in Europe and the USA. He even performed it with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Richard Strauss . However, he eventually grew tired of it and it was forgotten until its recent rediscovery.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Coriolan Overture Opus 62
Daniel Harding conducts the German Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra
Johann Sebastian Bach: Concerto in D minor for 2 violins BWV.1043
Violins: Anne-Sophie Mutter, Salvatore Accardo
English Chamber Orchestra
Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.3 in F major Opus 90
David Zinman conducts the Tonhalle Orchestra, Zurich
Wilhelm Stenhammar: Piano Concerto No.1 in B-flat minor Opus 1
Piano: Niklas Sivelov
Mario Venzago conducts the Malmo Symphony Orchestra