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Rossini and Beethoven bring the week's Full Works Concert to a rollicking climax.
The concert opens with the thrilling William Tell Overture by Rossini - pictured. The opera William Tell premiered in 1829, after which Rossini never wrote another. This is one of classical music's most popular works, endlessly used, quoted and mimicked on TV and in movies, notably as the theme music for The Lone Ranger, in Walt Disney's The Band Concert and countless cartoons.
Boccherini's Cello Concerto No.9 in B flat major was written in either the late 1760s or early 1770s. The composer, a talented cellist, wrote twelve concertos for his instrument. It has long been an essential work for cello students, because of the way it uses the full 4+ octave range of the instrument, rather than large jumps between different finger positions.
Equally if not more famous as the William Tell Overture, Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C minor is one of the most popular and best-known compositions in all music, and one of the most frequently played. First performed in Vienna's Theater an der Wien in 1808, the work achieved its prodigious reputation almost immediately. It begins with that distinctive four-note "da-da-da-dum" motif twice. It's that motif which is well known worldwide, extending even into the genres of disco and rock and roll.
Johannes Brahms's autumnal Clarinet Quintet in B minor was written in 1891 for the clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld. Brahms had retired from composing prior to listening to Mühlfeld play and became very enthusiastic about writing for him. Brahms composed the Clarinet Quintet and his Clarinet Trio for Mühlfeld, and later also two Clarinet Sonatas. The Quintet soon received performances across Europe, including London and Vienna and remains one of the very few Clarinet Quintets in the repertory.
Gioachino Rossini: William Tell – Overture
Carlo Rizzi conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Luigi Boccherini: Cello Concerto No.9 in B flat major
Cello: Yo-Yo Ma
Ton Koopman conducts the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.5 in C minor
Christian Thielemann conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra
Johannes Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B minor
Clarinet: David Schifrin Emerson String Quartet