CBSO Benevolent Fund Concert

Thursday 13 December 2012 at 7.30pm

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

 City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Andris Nelsons conductor
Baiba Skride violin
Daniel Müller-Schott cello
Lars Vogt piano

Beethoven: Triple Concerto, Op.56 34′
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 (Eroica) 47′ Listen on Spotify

The Birmingham Beethoven Cycle: The Eroica

Two chords slam out, and music will never be the same again. Beethoven’s mighty Eroica Symphony changed the course of musical history – but it’s not just a gripping musical portrait of the Age of Revolution. It’s a profoundly moving human drama, and in this concert devoted to the CBSO Benevolent Fund*, expect Andris Nelsons to find every last drop of emotion. And three musical superstars come together to give Beethoven’s playful Triple Concerto the ride of its life!

The CBSO Benevolent Fund, registered friendly society 735F, exists to support CBSO players and staff, past and present, at times of ill-health or other hardship

Sponsored by Barclays


Article about CBSO Benevolent Fund by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:

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Review by Rohan Shotton, BachTrack:

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…     “I have never seen a group of players enjoy playing together so visibly as pianist Lars Vogt, violinist Baiba Skride and cellist Daniel Müller-Schott. Each would sway gently and lean towards the others for musical dialogue. Their clear rapport imbued the performance with an infectious sense of fun whilst achieving perfect coordination in their ensemble. Clearly they all wanted to be there: none of the soloists, conductor or orchestra took a fee for this concert in aid of the orchestra’s benevolent fund. Each displayed a palette of controlled pianissimo and exuberant bravado. Beethoven gives the cellist the dominant role, and Müller-Schott played beautifully. His handling of the second movement’s lyrical melody was magnificent, and Skride’s hushed violin accompaniment was a subtle icing.”     …


Review by Clive Peacock, Leamington Courier:

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…     “In recent months we have become familiar with Baiba Skride’s skills as a violinist. The cello performance by Daniel Müller-Schott was nothing short of astonishing and Lars Vogt’s piano contributions were an important element in maintaining the balance. The orchestra responded well to Nelsons’ demands for changes of pace and the overall togetherness produces, at times, a spine-chilling intensity. Baskets of flowers were duly presented to soloists in recognition of a truly memorable performance.

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (Eroica) is a milestone in the composer’s maturity. The work is full of creative energy, indeed, and with Nelsons in charge, the last movement was an outpouring of creative energy. Having recognised individual contributions by Marie-Christine Zupancic (flute) and Rainer Gibbons (oboe), Nelsons acknowledged the sustained, accurate responses of timpani player, Peter Hill.”     …


Review by Andrew Clements, Guardian:

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…     “It was the most revealing examination of his credentials as a Beethoven interpreter so far – the Eroica Symphony – and if Nelsons did not emerge totally triumphant from the test, his performance had more than enough moments of surging power and intensity to suggest that when it is fully achieved his reading will be one to reckon with.

At present it’s the outer movements, especially the first, that are the most impressive. The explosive power of the fabulously precise tutti chords in the opening exposition set the tone for a movement that seemed to be conceived in a single, giant breath, while the elements of the finale were all shaped towards the equally explosive outburst of energy in the closing coda.”     …




Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:

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…     “Andris Nelsons and his willing orchestra gave us a lithe, well-weighted and totally appreciative account of this wonderful work. Horns (Beethoven augmented them for the first-ever expressive reason in a symphony – Haydn and Mozart’s examples of four horns were for technical expediency) were nobly magnificent, woodwinds were eloquent, and strings were deliciously responsive to Nelsons’ often baton-less beat.

This was so well paced, climaxes arriving inevitably and so judiciously. No wonder Nelsons clapped his players at the end, and, gods be praised, this performance has been captured by |Orfeo for future CD release.”

Nicola Benedetti Plays Concertos for Christmas

Part of Christmas 2012 at THSH… more events…

Part of Birmingham International Concert Season 2012/13… more events…

Part of Entertaining Erdington… more events…

Sunday 9th December, 3pm

Town Hall

European Union Chamber Orchestra
Nicola Benedetti violin
Leonard Elschenbroich cello

Corelli Concerto Grosso in G minor, Christmas Concerto 15’
Vivaldi Cello Concerto in G minor RV 416 10’
Manfredini Concerto Grosso in F, Christmas Concerto 10’
Vivaldi Concerto for Violin & Cello in F RV 544 10’
Torelli Concerto in G minor, Christmas Concerto 10’
Handel Pastoral Symphony from Messiah 3’
Vivaldi Autumn and Winter from The Four Seasons 17’

Nicola Benedetti has established herself as one of the most charismatic of young performers: an international superstar with a major record contract and ‘the complete assurance of a mature soloist’ (The Independent). Together with the European Union Chamber Orchestra, she performs an exuberant baroque programme featuring delightful seasonal highlights: the peacefully pastoral Christmas Concertos of Corelli and his contemporaries, and Vivaldi’s popular Winter from The Four Seasons.


Review by Diane Parkes, BehindTheArras:

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…     “Benedetti then returned to round off the afternoon with two of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons – Autumn and Winter. Her understanding and production of the pieces was impressive – you couldn’t help but wish she had time to add in Spring and Summer.

She bowed to the audience’s wishes for a short encore but returned to the Vivaldi, repeating an excerpt from Winter already played. Fair enough it was lovely but it was also a missed opportunity to dazzle the audience with a different piece of music.”     …



Review by Katherine Dixson, BachTrack:

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…     “Benedetti’s regular chamber music partner Leonard Elschenbroich presented our first Vivaldi of the day, the Cello Concerto in G minor, with beautiful tone and virtuosity. With delicate orchestral backing, Elschenbroich executed ascending and descending scales galore, fast and furious in the Allegro then controlled and lament-like in the Largo. Following the EUCO’s pretty rendition of Manfredini’s Christmas Concerto, Benedetti and Elschenbroich duetted in Vivaldi’s Concerto for violin and cello in F major, which has a subtitle that translates as “The world turned upside-down”. The composer had played a joke on his soloists by writing their parts in the wrong clef, but due to his skilful composition it was possible to swap parts; then, with a quick shift in pitch, it would work. Sounds a bit complicated to me, but there were certainly no issues this afternoon, just plenty of energy and verve, with the violin and cello interweaving and echoing, and extra texture added by the orchestra. The final Allegro clearly gave lots of scope for the soloists to show off, bringing the first half to a suitably upbeat conclusion.”     …

Bruckner’s Eighth

Thursday 6 December 2012 at 7.30pm

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

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Simone Young conductor

Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 83′ Listen on Spotify

PLUS – a late-night performance
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Claire Booth – soprano
Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire 38’

It’s a cliché to call Bruckner’s symphonies “cathedrals in sound”. True, Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony is one of the grandest and greatest in all music; a mighty vision of the eternal, composed for an enormous orchestra. But it’s so much more than one man’s spiritual odyssey. It’s one of Romantic music’s most overwhelming experiences, profoundly moving and breathtakingly beautiful. With Andris Nelsons, this will be one of the high points of our season. Be sure to hear it – and stay late as our friends from BCMG perform Schoenberg’s masterpiece, premiered in Vienna just 20 years after Bruckner’s symphony.

We’re sorry to announce that Andris Nelsons has a viral infection and has had to withdraw from this week’s concerts of Bruckner’s 8th Symphony. We are extremely grateful to Simone Young who joins us at short notice for our performances in Gateshead and Birmingham on Wednesday and Thursday.

Simone Young has performed and recorded the original 1887 version of the symphony with the Hamburg Philharmonic. Please note we will be performing this version this week, rather than the Haas edition which we were due to perform.

Andris is hoping to be back in Birmingham next week to continue our Beethoven cycle and we wish him a speedy recovery.


Review by John Quinn, MusicWeb, SeenandHeard:

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…     “The great Adagio found Ms Young displaying the breadth and the control of line that marks out a true Brucknerian. In the first few minutes the CBSO strings, especially the first violins and cellos, excelled; indeed, it was a fine night all round for the CBSO string section. Later on there was some very fine playing from the expanded horn section, the deep Wagner tubas making a sonorously telling contribution. Simone Young’s ability to build Bruckner’s great terraced climaxes was particularly noteworthy. These climaxes and the build-ups to them, though majestic in 1887, would become even more effective when Bruckner had pruned and polished them for the 1890 score. One improvement, though a relatively minor one, was his decision to cap the last massive climax with just two cymbal clashes; in 1887 he included two series of three clashes – so six in all -, and this is less imposing. The long, gently glowing conclusion to the movement remained largely unchanged between the two versions: in this performance it was managed splendidly.  Regardless of what edition of the score was being used this was a magnificent reading of the movement.”     …