The Full Works Concert - Wednesday 11 September 2013
Tonight's concert spans several European countries including the Vatican!
Tonight, our concert gets underway with Leonard Bernstein's exuberant, life-affirming overture to Candide. When one considers the numerous ups and downs Candide has experienced after its disappointing premiere in 1956, it seems that the Overture is the main reason for its enduring success.
Johannes Brahms' Double Concerto in A minor was the composer's final orchestral work, written for the cellist Robert Hausmann and Brahms' old but estranged friend, the violinist Joseph Joachim. The concerto was, in part, an attempt to make up with Joachim after Joachim's divorce, a dispute in which Brahms sided with Mrs. Joachim. Clara Schumann was not a fan of this concerto, considering it 'not brilliant for the instruments', but it has become more popular in recent times.
Mozart, when he was a teenager, so the story goes, once heard the fiercely protected Miserere by Allegri, pictured, being performed in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel. The precocious young composer apparently scurried home and wrote down the entire work from memory. Allegri was a devout catholic, trained as a priest, who worked with the Vatican’s Papal Choir right up until his death. He was described as ‘a model of priestly peace and humility, a father to the poor, the consoler of captives and the forsaken, a self-sacrificing help and rescuer of suffering humanity’.
Haydn's Symphony No. 92 in G major is known as the Oxford Symphony because the composer reportedly conducted it at a ceremony in 1791 in which he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Oxford University. His appearance at Oxford was symbolic of the international success he attained beginning in his late 50s. Haydn was scheduled to conduct three concerts in Oxford as a prerequisite for receiving his degree. On the second evening the symphony we now know as the Oxford was played to the same acclaim it had previously enjoyed in London.
Tonight's concert ends with Edvard Grieg's Holberg Suite. It opens with a sprightly, energetic Praeludium, followed by a more introspective Sarabande, a rather polite Gavotte, a stately Air and, finally, a boisterous Rigaudon. It was originally composed for piano – an instrument in front of which Grieg was always at home – but was later turned into an orchestral suite by the composer. But we hear the original piano version this evening.
Leonard Bernstein: Candide – Overture
Andrew Litton conducts the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Johannes Brahms: Double Concerto in A minor
Violin: Itzhak Perlman
Cello: Yo-Yo Ma
Daniel Barenboim conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Gregorio Allegri: Miserere
Andrew Nethsingha conducts the Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge
Joseph Haydn: Symphony No.92 in G major (‘Oxford’)
Rene Jacobs conducts the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
Edvard Grieg: Holberg Suite
Piano: Katya Apekisheva