Autumn Contrasts

Wednesday 7 November 2012 at 2.15pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121 345 0603

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Manze conductor
Rainer Gibbons oboe

Mozart: Symphony No. 25 26′
Vaughan Williams: Oboe Concerto 19′ Listen on Spotify
Schumann: Symphony No. 2 34′ Listen on Spotify

Engaging, inspired and endlessly lively, Andrew Manze is quickly making a name as one of the most charismatic conductors around – and a firm favourite with musicians and audiences alike. Here he brings his famous verve to bear on Mozart’s explosive youthful masterpiece, before sharing two very personal musical passions: Schumann’s gloriously romantic Second Symphony, and Vaughan Williams’s radiant, serenely lyrical Oboe Concerto played by the CBSO’s own Rainer Gibbons. It could quite possibly be the loveliest piece of English music you’ve never heard.


Review by Norman Stinchcombe, Birmingham Post:

Click here for full review

…    “Vaughan Williams’ oboe concerto received its first CBSO performance for more than 30 years – and it’ll probably be another 30 before it’s heard again.

Rainer Gibbons was the eloquent soloist, nimble and neat in the scampering minuet and spinning some elegant lines in the finale.     […]

[…]     Schumann’s Second Symphony is a marvellous work but must be a conductor’s nightmare. In the opening movement the wind section could have been miming for much of the time as they were overwhelmed by brass and strings. Not Manze’s fault, just Schumann’s turgid orchestration. The scherzo was brilliant as was the finale with Manze unleashing the brass and timpani to great effect. The slow movement is the symphony’s madwoman-in-the-attic: woodwind wailing like a lost soul and shivering tremolo strings chilling the heart.”   …

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