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Cadogan Hall is delighted to welcome back the enormously popular Russian State Philharmonic with its Music Director Valery Polyansky, recognized today as a leading interpreter of the works of Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky. Rachmaninov himself said that the third was his personal favourite amongst his piano concertos, requiring breathtaking virtuosity from both soloist and orchestra. Valentina Lisitsa joins them for one of the most difficult and physically demanding works for pianists.
Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, written soon after the collapse of his brief and disastrous marriage, is saturated with the idea of fate, or as the composer wrote ‘that fatal force which prevents the impulse to happiness from attaining its goal’. The vigorous finale, incorporating a famous Russian folk song, swings from the dark emotions of the first movement to a more triumphant mood.
A new generation of international musicians from two of the world’s leading conservatoires perform alongside one another for the first time in a programme inspired by musical life in wartime 1918. A joint orchestra of over 90 players from the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (CNSMDP) performs works by three great European masters – Debussy, Elgar and Wagner – conducted by the German conductor Markus Stenz.
This concert forms part of Paris-Manchester 1918, a partnership project between the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (CNSMDP) that combines performance and research to shed light on the musical life of Paris and Manchester during the First World War.
This ethereal concert explores the nostalgic sound-worlds of Humperdinck, Wagner and Grieg. Humperdinck’s stirring opening Overture is where the magical story begins, leading into Wagner’s delightful Wesendonck Lieder, performed here by exceptional mezzo-soprano Madeleine Shaw. This atmospheric programme concludes with excerpts from Grieg’s ever-popular and lyrical Peer Gynt.
The Sacconi Quartet is joined by Freddy Kempf and Daniel Hope, artists known for spontaneity and vitality, for a programme of masterpieces composed in the 1880s.
The concert, which includes Chausson’s lyrical concerto and Dvořák’s muscular drama, two works tinged with euphoric beauty, is crowned by a world première by Anne Dudley. The concert supports Britain’s oldest musical charity, The Royal Society of Musicians.
Ernest Chausson (1855-1899)
Concert in D major for violin, piano and string quartet Op. 21
Anne Dudley (b.1956)
March for the Royal Society of Musicians (world première)
Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)
Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major Op. 81
Sir John Eliot Gardiner launches an exploration of the works of Robert Schumann, beginning with a rare glimpse of his only opera and Second Symphony. The opera Genoveva evokes a medieval legend, and is somewhat of a rarity, with the Overture often played alone. Heavily influenced by Wagner, the music sets the mood for the rather dark and gloomy story that follows.
Berlioz's setting of six poems by Théophile Gautier consider love from different angles, principally the loss of love. Coming at a time when his marriage to the actress Harriet Smithson was all but over, the music seems to echo his sense of the loss of his youthful dreams. Schumann's Second Symphony was composed despite the composer’s problems with health and depression. ‘I would say that my resistant spirit had a visible influence on [the work] and it is through that that I sought to fight my condition,’ he said.
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