Sarah Chang plays Bruch at the Festival Hall

Is it my imagination, or whenever you see a programme with a Korean violinist in London, more than half the time it’s the Bruch they’re playing? I sometimes wish we could be given something a bit more out of the ordinary – like the rarely-performed Delius concerto Joo-yeon Sir played last year. Anyway, it’ll be nice to see Sarah Chang back in town regardless. But next time, some Shostakovich please.

Royal Festival Hall
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Thursday 21 April 2011, 7:30pm

Ottorino Respighi: Fountains of Rome
Max Bruch: Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.4

Kirill Karabits conductor
Sarah Chang violin

Respighi is renowned for his superb orchestrations (as befits a student of Rimsky-Korsakov) – both of other composers’ music and in original works such as the captivating The Fountains of Rome.

Although he composed several choral and orchestral works (including three concertos for the violin and one for two pianos), Bruch’s fame today rests largely on one phenomenally successful piece – the Violin Concerto in G minor. Richly melodic and sumptuously orchestrated, this enchanting concerto is beloved of performers and audiences alike.

Although it is tempting to relate Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony to the suicidal despair caused by his disastrous marriage, he had in fact sketched the first three movements before meeting his future wife. In any event, he later maintained that the symphony was an ‘echo’ of the events in his life, in which the sinister fanfares of Fate are ultimately swept away by an indomitable reaffirmation of life.

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