The Full Works Concert - Thursday 20 February 2014

Dvorak's American Quartet and Beethoven's fourth Piano Concerto are among tonight's highlights.

Antonin Dvorak

Mozart's 39th Symphony is the first of the sequence of his three last symphonies composed in rapid succession during the summer of 1788. It's not clear whether the symphony was ever performed in his lifetime. Around the time he wrote the work, Mozart was preparing to hold a series of concerts in a new casino. But it's not clear whether the series was held, or was cancelled for lack of interest. Today though the symphony is part of the core repertoire and is frequently performed and recorded.

A delightful Baroque diversion follows. Hans Peter Westermann plays the oboe and directs Camerata Cologne in Telemann's Oboe Concerto in F minor.

Dvorak's popular 12th string quartet is known as the 'American', written in 1893 during the composer's sojourn in the U.S.A. In 1893, Dvorak spent his vacation in the town of Spillville, Iowa, which was home to a Czech immigrant community. He composed the quartet shortly after the New World Symphony, sketching the manuscript in three days and completing it in three weeks. Dvorak claimed there are influences in the piece from Native American and Irish music and spirituals, but they are hard to identify. It may be simply that it was written in America that gives the work its title and particular colour.

When Beethoven completed his fourth Piano Concerto in 1806, he struggled to find anyone to perform it. So the work sat on a shelf, gathering dust, until its public premiere on 22 December 1808. The eventual soloist? Beethoven himself, before going on to conduct the premiere performances of his Symphonies No. 5 and No. 6 on the same programme.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No.39 in Eb major K.543
Claudio Abbado conducts the Orchestra Mozart

Georg-Philipp Telemann: Oboe Concerto in F minor
Hans Peter Westermann directs Camerata Cologne from the oboe

Antonin Dvorak: String Quartet No.12 in F major Opus 96
Simon Bolivar String Quartet

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.4 in G major Opus 58
Piano: Lang Lang
Christoph Eschenbach conducts the Orchestre de Paris

The Full Works Concert