Beethoven and Bruckner

Beethoven Piano Concerto No 4

Andsnes and the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester

Part of Three Great European Orchestras… more events…

Part of The Birmingham Beethoven Cycle… more events…

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

Tuesday 26th March

Symphony Hall

Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester

Herbert Blomstedt conductor

Leif Ove Andsnes piano

Beethoven   Piano Concerto No 4 35’
Bruckner   Symphony No 4, Romantic 64’

Leif Ove Andsnes’ encore – Chopin – Waltz in A Flat, Op.34, No 1

Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester

The Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester is a ‘youth orchestra’ like none other: it comprises the crème de la crème of young European musicians at the outset of their careers, and it is a finishing school and feeder for Europe’s very best orchestras. With the great Leif Ove Andsnes playing Beethoven’s most poetic piano concerto alongside the visionary grandeur of Bruckner’s lofty ‘Romantic’ Symphony, conducted by Herbert Blomstedt, this will be a very special concert indeed.

… a thoroughbred among youth orchestras… the ensemble balances the mature skill of professionals with the urgency that comes only from young musicians. New Statesman, 2011

… the most comprehensively fulfilling Prom of the entire batch I have attended… a five-star winner from beginning to end… the whole performance was riveting… What a pure joy it was, an inspired evening and one to cherish. Geoffrey Norris, The Telegraph 2011.   www.thsh.co.uk

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Review by Diane Parkes, BehindTheArras:

Click here for full review

…     “This was followed by Bruckner’s Symphony No 4 which gave the young performers every opportunity to flex their musical muscles. The ‘Romantic’ symphony is challenging for any orchestra but the GMJO played it with apparent ease. Conductor Herbert Blomstedt ensured the piece was mastered with a level of maturity well beyond their years.

And the sheer enthusiasm for the piece also shone through ensuring a glowing response from the audience.”     …

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Review by John Quinn, SeenandHeard, MusicWeb:

Click here for full review

…     “As for the playing, it was consistently fine. The track record of this orchestra is that many of its alumni go on to play in Europe’s leading orchestras and on this evidence it’s easy to see why. The brass playing was notable firstly for its consistent splendour but secondly – and just as importantly – for the fact that the brass never overplayed their hand so as to dominate the textures more than Bruckner intended: these players may be young but they’re anything but immature – and they’ve been expertly coached. The horns are crucial in this symphony and the section – and its principal – played with distinction. Above all, however, it was the string section that, time and again, caught the ear. There was a satisfying depth of tone but the sound was never so rich as to be corpulent.”     …

 

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Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:

Click here for full review

…     “Where does all the freshness go? So many professional  orchestras (Birmingham being a notable exception) and freelance scratch pick-up  outfits seem to have lost the gift of communicating joy in music-making. 

It’s left to youth orchestras to remind us just how  precious a gift this is: it’s not a job, it’s a portal to wonderment.

And wow, didn’t the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester radiate  such life-enhancement on Tuesday.

It’s not so long ago that the Norwegian pianist Leif Ove  Andsnes was himself a young buck. Now he distils a wisdom in performance which  spread to the whole orchestra in a deeply poetic account of Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto.”     …

*****

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