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Handel, Mozart, Glazunov and Tchaikovsky are on the bill for tonight's Concert.
Tonight's concert opens with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Concerto No.9 in E flat major, written in Salzburg in 1777 when Mozart was 21 years old. The work has been described by one critic as the first masterpiece of the classical style. Pianist Alfred Brendel has called it 'one of the greatest wonders of the world' while Einstein dubbed it 'Mozart's Eroica.' The concerto has long been known as the Jeunehomme Concerto, based on an incorrect fact that Mozart wrote the piece for a French pianist called Jeunehomme who was visiting Salzburg. The name of the pianist was actually Jeramy.
Tchaikovsky 's Variations on a Rococo Theme was the closest the composer ever came to writing a concerto for cello and orchestra. It was inspired by Mozart but does not employ a genuine Rococo Theme - rather Tchaikovsky created his own theme in the Rococo style.
In 1736, in the space of just 20 days, Handel - pictured - wrote Alexander’s Feast, a setting of John Dryden’s Ode to St. Cecilia. As an interlude between acts, he inserted a harp concerto - a strange work for a saint whose instrument was the organ! Ironically, the Harp Concerto was published two years later in a collection of six concertos 'for Harpsichord or Organ'. Listen out for the inventive rondo where the principal theme returns in rondo fashion, but almost always in a different key.
The Russian composer Glazunov wrote for almost every genre. He completed eight symphonies, composed chamber and choral music, and a violin and two piano concertos. He also wrote three ballets. The last, The Seasons, premiered in St. Petersburg in 1900. Unconventionally, the ballet does not have a story but instead creates four tableaux based on the changing seasons.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No.9 in E flat major (‘Jeunehomme’)
Piano: Richard Goode
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme
Cello: Mstislav Rostropovich
Herbert von Karajan conducts the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
George Frideric Handel: Harp Concerto in B flat major
Harp: Marisa Robles
Iona Brown conducts the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Alexander Glazunov: The Seasons
Vladimir Ashkenazy conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra