Tag: Dvorak

Zoë Beyers at Cheltenham Town Hall

Schumann’s complete work Manfred – based upon Lord Byron’s dramatic poem of the same name – is rarely performed these days, however the Overture has found its place in Schumann’s enduring repertoire. Schumann’s love of literature was fostered by his father, a bookseller and publisher, and his affinity for combining great literary works and music, alongside his own writing in the journal Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, led to him becoming one of the influential artistic voices of the Romantic era.

As part of this Romantic composer-led programme, ESO leader and violinist Zoë Beyers will be bringing Tchaikovsky’s challenging but much-loved Violin Concerto to life. Although the concerto was not well received by his friends, family or critics in the first instance, the public’s enthusiasm for the work was swift and triumphant and it remains one of the most difficult violin concertos in a violinist’s repertoire.

The concert concludes with Dvořák’s Symphony No.9 From the New World. Composed during his time as director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York, this symphony was a huge success and the New York Evening Post commented that it is “the greatest symphonic work ever composed in this country”, high praise indeed!

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April Fredrick at Great Malvern Priory

Tonight’s programme features April Fredrick, who is the ESO’s first Affiliate Artist, to perform Dvořák’s Song to the Moon from Rusalka, arranged by Tony Burke.

The Adagio part of Mozart’s Adagio and Fugue in C minor K.546 was a late addition to an earlier work, his Fugue in C minor K.426, written for two pianos in 1783. He later revisited the work in 1788 whilst writing his final three symphonies and transcribed the fugue for strings. It’s not clear why he did this but one theory is he wanted to refresh his old counterpoint studies before starting work on the counterpoint section that concludes his final symphony, ‘Jupiter’.

The first performance of Tony Burke’s arrangement of Strauss’ Morgen! was filmed and recorded in 2020 at Wyastone Concert Hall near Monmouth. It was the first time since lockdown that the ESO had gathered together for a series of innovative recording projects that would later become ESO Digital.

Mozart’s final three symphonies: numbers 39, 40 and 41, are a trilogy of works that stand apart from his own symphonic output and are a regular occurrence in many a concert hall and orchestra’s repertoire. It might be slightly less familiar than the two that followed, however “taken in its entirety, the symphony [no.39] is refreshing to the ear, its pleasure is only intensified by the fact that it is not much performed. Here is a work of inspiration that, due to its rarity, can still surprise and delight” Elizabeth Schwarm Glesner.

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Concert Review – Musical Opinion on ESO at King’s Place 28 April 2020

From the July 2020 issue of Musical Opinion:
This concert, pairing partitas by Martinů and his sometime pupil and inamorata Vitězslava Kaprálová with Mozart’s 20th Piano Concerto in its chamber/string orchestral version and a newly restored version of Dvořák’s wonderful Serenade for strings, was probably my most eagerly anticipated concert of the preceding six months. (In other words, since the UK concert premiere of Truscott’s Elegy coupled with David Matthews’ Double Concerto in Malvern—reviewed in a previous edition of this journal—given by the same orchestra and conductor; London orchestras, please take note.) It did not disappoint, with the Orchestra in top form under chief conductor Kenneth Woods and with one of the finest pianists currently on the circuit, Noriko Ogawa, on sublime form.

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