Monday 19th October
|Richard Strauss||Don Juan||17’|
|Mozart||Piano Concerto No 27 in B flat||29’|
|Richard Strauss||Ein Heldenleben||45’|
Few orchestral showpieces open as thrillingly as Strauss’s Don Juan – and fewer still match the vaulting ambition of Ein Heldenleben. Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig celebrate a rare visit to Birmingham with Richard Strauss at his most extrovert.
As the soloist in Mozart’s 27th Piano Concerto, Maria João Pires triumphs amidst Strauss’s soaring orchestral peaks.
Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:
Click here for full review
… “The orchestra, now huge for these tone-poems, played with a biting attack, scrupulous accentuation (the opening of Ein Heldenleben a prime example), and a relish for the instrumental detail with which the composer peppered his textures. Special praise for concertmaster Frank-Michael Erben, his tiny solos in Don Juan sweet-toned, and his huge ones in Ein Heldenleben equally so, despite the often vicious ferocity of Strauss’s writing in these depictions of his shrewish wife.
Chailly balanced the sonorities with a natural authority, an almost fatherly concern for his charges, and it was heartwarming to witness the awareness between the strings sections and the overall intelligence and musicality of this band of professors (many of them tutors at the Mendelssohn-founded Leipzig Conservatoire).
Chailly will be leaving this orchestra in the hands of Andris Nelsons next year. It is good to know that this much-loved Birmingham ex-pat will be back at the helm of a European orchestra equal with the CBSO in repute and quality — though not privileged with the acoustic of Symphony Hall, which still never ceases to amaze me after nearly a quarter of a century.”