The Full Works Concert - Friday 28 November 2014

Catherine Bott presents the final of her five LA Phil Fridays concerts – live performances from Classic FM's Orchestra in America, the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Tonight's concert features three perennial favourites: Gustavo Dudamel conducting both Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, the 'Eroica'. 

Of all the works in the history of classical music, this is the symphony that definitively closed the door on the Classical period and ushered in fully the start of the Romantic era. Between them, Mozart and Haydn defined the symphony for their era. Their music certainly contained passion and emotion, but it was always restrained within set structures. These structures were becoming tired, though, and a new music was ready to burst forth. Step forward Beethoven, prepared once again to break the rules. Here, for the first time, the composer was determined to take his listeners on a sublime musical journey. The degree to which the 'Eroica' was inspired by Napoleon is something that musicologists continue to debate today. But, in essence, it’s not the real question here. Instead, the question is: can we hear what Beethoven is communicating from deep within his soul? Can we hear the themes of struggle and triumph in this victorious music? Beethoven’s status as the most important composer of his time was pretty much confirmed in an instant with this one mighty work. After hearing it, audiences were gripped. They wanted more. And, as they were about to discover, Beethoven was determined to set about giving them just that.

The evening concludes with a favourite British piece, Benjamin Britten’s haunting and evocative 'Sea Interludes' from his opera Peter Grimes.

Peter Illich Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1

Piano: Lang Lang
Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic 

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 “Eroica”
Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic

Benjamin Britten: Four Sea Interludes
David Robertson conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic