Bruch’s Violin Concerto

ThumbnailRelax and Revitalise

Wednesday 8th October 2014 at 7.30pm

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

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Vassily Sinaisky  conductor
Laurence Jackson  violin

Smetana: Má vlast – Vltava • Sárka 22′
Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 25′
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Dvořák: Symphony No.8 38′
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Autumn sunshine: cellos and horns sing a quiet hymn, a bird sings cheerfully, and in a flurry of drums and trumpets, Dvorák’s Eighth Symphony is on its way. Symphonies simply don’t get much happier than this – and violin concertos don’t get much more popular than Bruch’s First, performed by the CBSO’s leader, Laurence Jackson. Smetana’s tuneful trip down the River Vltava starts our journey today.

If you like this concert, you might also like:
Russian Classics, Wednesday 12th November
From the Danube to the Rhine, Thursday 5th February 2015 & Saturday 7th February 2015
Haydn in London, Wednesday 6th May 2015 & Thursday 7th May 2015

Support the CBSO



Review by Norman Stinchcombe, Birmingham Post:

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…     “It’s a tuneful symphony certainly, but also an ingenious and disturbing one. Dvorak sets us up for a repeat in the first movement and then rushes headlong into the development, Sinaisky directing a thrilling performance with the CBSO’s horns and heavy brass storming on impressively.

The adagio begins as a funeral march but the cortege speeds up for a pastoral interlude , with some sparkling wind playing. Sinaisky set a fast tempo for the finale which romped merrily home.

The CBSO’s leader Laurence Jackson was the soloist in Bruch’s evergreen first violin concerto. The famous adagio tempts the soloist to indulgence – ample opportunity for slow swooning – but Jackson’s interpretation while romantic was also rather chaste.

It was a performance of grace and good taste…”      …

Beethoven’s Emperor

Grimaud and the Czech Philharmonic

Part of The Birmingham Beethoven Cycle… more events…
Part of Entertaining Erdington… more events…
Part of Birmingham International Concert Season 2012/13… more events…

Friday 12 April

Symphony Hall

Czech Philharmonic

Jiří Bělohlávek conductor

Hélène Grimaud  piano

Smetana   From Bohemia’s Meadows and Forests 14’
Beethoven   Piano Concerto No 5, Emperor 40’
Dvořák   Symphony No 7 37’

Czech Phil’s encore – Dvořák

Dvořák’s powerfully dramatic Seventh Symphony is preceded by Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto (completing this season’s cycle of piano concertos), played by celebrity guest Hélène Grimaud. Beethoven composed the piece as Napoleon’s guns thundered across Vienna; its nobility and grandeur never fail to carry audiences away.

Classic FM’s Anne-Marie Minhall, says of tonight’s recommended concert:

The Czech Philharmonic orchestra gave some of their earliest concerts under Dvořák himself. His symphonies and music like Smetana’s From Bohemia’s Meadows and Forests are part of the orchestra’s great tradition, capturing the spirit of the Czech people and their folk music.

6.15pm Free pre-concert conversation with Lyndon Jenkins and Jiří Bělohlávek.



Article by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post

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…     ” “It is our goal to bring the fame of Czech music to the broadest audiences  worldwide,” says Jiri, as he tell me about the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra’s  ambassadorial activities. “Every year the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra spends  quite a number of days on tours. As our orchestra plays an important role in the  music life in Prague, we have to divide our activities among our subscription  series, special projects, educative concerts, recording, and so on. Our policy  is to reserve up to approximately 40 concerts per season for international  touring,” he says.”     …



Review by Diane Parkes, BehindTheArras:

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…      “Often eclipsed by the ever popular Ninth ‘New World’ Symphony, No 7 still remains a heart-warming and enjoyable piece of music.

It also demonstrates Dvorak’s talent for blending harmonies, for building on themes and forrevelling in a good tune. No 7 is full of life and vigour as it dances along, bouncing themes back and forth between strings, woodwind and brass, all working together towards its rousing finale.

It is clearly loved by the Czech Philharmonic and conductor Jiri Belohlavek who seemed to greet it like an old friend, quickly embracing its colour and tone and capturing its energy beautifully.”     …

Review by Peter Marks, BachTrack:
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…     “Matters improved in the lovely central Adagio with orchestra and soloist coming together as one. Grimaud displayed a real depth of feeling here and the seamless transition into the rollicking final Rondo was utterly convincing. This was taken at quite a lick and, despite the last degree of unanimity between soloist and orchestra being again absent, the concerto came to an agreeable conclusion.

The orchestra was back on home territory for Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony. The placement of the violas on the outside right of the orchestra meant that these highly vocal and sweet-sounding players were heard in all their glory throughout the symphony, not least in the opening of the piece. Bělohlávek’s interpretation was for the most part straightforward and quite hard driven. The climaxes in all the movements were tremendously exciting with horns and trumpets tastefully given their heads.”




Review by Norman Stinchcombe, Birmingham Post:

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…     “This orchestra is intimately acquainted with the terrain, both musical and  natural, and with Jiří Bělohlávek at the helm this traversal had depth and  power.

It whetted my appetite for a complete performance of Smetana’s epic Má Vlast  from this team. Having recently heard their 1992 recording of Dvorak’s seventh  symphony it seems Bělohlávek’s interpretation hasn’t changed substantially in 20  years.

There’s no reason it should since it’s one that’s beautifully balanced  between Dvorak’s desire to compose a more highly-structured Brahmsian symphony  and his ineliminable Bohemian roots.

Sunlight and Shadows

Wednesday 24 October 2012 at 7.30pm

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

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Edward Gardner conductor
Valeriy Sokolov violin

Smetana: The Bartered Bride – Overture 7′
Bartók: Violin Concerto No. 2 36′
Dvořák: Symphony No. 7 38′

Bohemian rhapsodies: when Smetana’s overture to The Bartered Bride burst into fizzing dancing life, so did Czech music. CBSO principal guest conductor Edward Gardner directs a concert of warm sunshine and dark shadows, finishing with the symphony that may not be Dvorák’s best-known – but might just be his greatest. In between comes Bartók’s powerful Second Violin Concerto: Hungarian passion, deep feeling and ear-tingling musical fireworks, played tonight by a young soloist who’s been described as “breathtaking”.


Review by David Hart, Birmingham Post:

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…     “Bartok’s Violin Concerto No.2 impressed even more, although for entirely different reasons. Gardner drew such sensitivity and character from the orchestra, and so many subtleties from the kaleidoscopically transparent score (the delicacies of the Andante involving woodwind, harp and celesta were quite magical), there were times when you almost stopped listening to the soloist.

But the quietly imposing presence and dazzling technique of Valeriy Sokolov made that quite impossible. The young Ukrainian’s vibrant warmth was, as it should be in Bartok’s most melodious outpourings, tinged with elegiac poignancy, while the more virtuosic elements of the piece sparkled with agility.”     …