Mozart and Elgar

Thumbnail  Relax and Revitalise

Thursday 20 February 2014 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121 345 0600

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Edward Gardner  conductor

Steven Osborne  piano

Mozart: The Magic Flute – Overture 7′

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor K491 31′

Elgar: Symphony No. 1 52′ Listen on Spotify Watch on YouTube

Steven Osborne’s encore – Beethoven – Bagatelle

At  the premiere of Elgar’s First Symphony in 1908, the audience rose to its feet  and simply yelled with excitement. So prepare yourself for raw emotion, desperate  beauty, and of course, one of the greatest tunes ever written by an Englishman.  The CBSO has a special relationship with Elgar; today, Edward Gardner writes a  new chapter. Mozart’s darkest piano concerto makes a wonderfully apt prelude,  played by the incomparable Steven Osborne. www.cbso.co.uk

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Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post: (for matinee of same programme)

Click here for full review

“I have heard countless performances of Elgar’s First Symphony over nearly half a century, with conductors including Boult, Elder, and that great Elgar advocate Sakari Oramo. But none of those could match what a packed Symphony Hall heard on Wednesday afternoon from Gardner and his willing orchestra.

Here was structural cogency and expressive communication; dark soul-searching and pastoral escapism; passing detail melded by Gardner into a wonderful arch of musical line. In other words, an account which thrust to the heart of this complex music and revealed every aspect of its message.

The orchestral sound leapt at us, basses ranged across the back underpinning all of Elgar’s textures, and building an almost organ-like sonority for the big tune on its first airing.”     …

*****

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