Tragedy and Triumph

Wednesday 1 June 2011 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121-780 3333

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Andris Nelsons conductor
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet piano

Tchaikovsky: Francesca da Rimini 24′
Bartók: Piano Concerto No. 2 28′
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 44′

The horns blast out a savage fanfare; the trumpets scream in reply…and you know this isn’t going to be any ordinary symphony. It’s Tchaikovsky’s Fourth, the no-holds-barred emotional autobiography in which one of the most troubled – but inspired – composers of all time wrestles publicly with his personal demons in music of startling rawness and power. The reason? Well, maybe his tone-poem Francesca da Rimini offers a clue – a tale of forbidden love and desperate torment, set to some of even Tchaikovsky’s most passionate music.

Please note Mihaela Ursuleasa has withdrawn from this concert and we are grateful to Jean-Efflam Bavouzet who has kindly agreed to take her place at short notice.

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet’s encore – Ravel –

Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:

…     “This was an urgent, gripping reading, and so was Nelsons’ account of Tchaikovsky’s tremendous Fourth Symphony, brilliantly responsive to its structure, ebbing and flowing in emotional intensity, and a tribute all the time to the immense trust and love between conductor and orchestra.”     …

Mendelssohn Abroad

Thursday 16 December 2010 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121-780 3333

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Pablo Heras-Casado  conductor
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet  piano

Mendelssohn: Overture, The Hebrides 10′ Listen
requires Real Player
Schumann: Piano Concerto 31”
Busoni: Berceuse Elégaique 9′
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 (Italian) 26′ Listen
requires Real Player

It’s midwinter in Birmingham – so treat yourself to a blast of musical
sunshine, in the form of Mendelssohn’s exuberant Italian symphony.
From the moment it bursts into life to the dizzying final tarantella,
there’s never been a more joyous musical homage to the land of blue
skies and chanti! Pure escapism – and there’s pure romance on the
cards, too, in Schumann’s adorable Piano Concerto, written in the first
flush of love for his wife Clara. The great French keyboard poet Jean-
Efflam Bavouzet joins rising Spanish star Pablo Heras-Casado, who
also steers the CBSO across Mendelssohn’s musical seascape, and
adds a final touch to our musical exploration of the year 1910 with
Busoni’s haunting Berceuse Elégiaque.

Review by Elmley De La Cour, Birmingham Post:

… “From the misty opening of Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, Casado, conducting without a baton, directed with an impressive confidence and security, displayed in the most pleasing way: never overly busy, and inviting rather than imposing.” …

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