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Anne-Marie Minhall presents three virtuoso performances by three outstanding musical talents.
Tonight's concert of virtuoso performances starts with a violin concerto which is notoriously difficult to play. Brahms wanted to compose music where the violin and the orchestra would share dialogues and duets, with a sympathetic interplay between the soloist, the orchestra and even other individual instruments. Put it all together, and there’s a sense of perfect balance in the Violin Concerto in D major, with all the performers working towards this wonderfully constructed melodic masterpiece. It's played tonight by Kyung-Wha Chung.
Next up, the pianist Ingolf Wunder, pictured, plays Chopin's Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise. Chopin first composed the Grande polonaise brillante in 1830-31. The Andante spianato was composed three years later as an introduction to the polonaise after Chopin received a long-awaited invitation to perform in a Conservatoire Concert in Paris. This was the only time Chopin had ever used the term spianato - meaning 'even' or 'smooth' - as a description for any of his works.
Vivaldi's Flute Concerto in D major is subtitled 'Il gardellino' - The Goldfinch. In it, Vivaldi demonstrates his perfect understanding of the flute, writing trills, leaps, rapid florid passages, repeated notes, dotted rhythms, all to evoke the warblings of a goldfinch. It's played brilliantly tonight by Emmanuel Pahud.
Howard Shelley’s recordings of symphonies by Louis Spohr with the Orchestra of Italian Switzerland have reignited interest in a composer who was once the most important in Europe, and particularly so in England, where he was worshipped by all of musical society. What made Spohr's symphonies special was their daring use of chromatic harmony; the Eighth Symphony is well worth discovering.
Johannes Brahms: Violin Concerto in D major Opus 77
Violin: Kyung-Wha Chung
Simon Rattle conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Frederic Chopin: Andante Spianato & Grande Polonaise Opus 22
Piano: Ingolf Wunder
Antonio Vivaldi: Flute Concerto in D major Opus 10 RV.428
Flute: Emmanuel Pahud
Richard Tognetti directs the Australian Chamber Orchestra
Louis Spohr: Symphony No.8 in G major Opus 137
Howard Shelley conducts the Orchestra of Italian Switzerland