NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester / Alan Gilbert
- Classical Music
»I've never seen anything as wonderful as the sun rising into the golden mist over our hills«, wrote Edward Elgar from his country house in Sussex in November 1918. But his private life towards the end of the First World War was anything but sunny. The composer wrote out the main theme of his Cello Concerto, for example, after a painful operation. And yet, someone listening to the first movement's sweeping melody rising up from misty, overcast sounds into a full orchestral tutti may find himself reminded of the composer's vivid description of an idyllic autumn landscape. The emotional ambivalence and depth of the last major work written by England's national composer is without a doubt one reason why the Cello Concerto remains a firm repertoire favourite to this day.
The same can be said about Gustav Mahler's Fourth Symphony. The composer himself described the tone of the work, which alternates between nostalgic naivety and cryptic grotesque, thus: »It contains the serenity of a higher and alien world that holds something eerie and terrible for us. In the last movement the child explains how everything is meant«.
For tonight's concert combining the two works, Mahler enthusiast Alan Gilbert brings in two top soloists: French star cellist Gautier Capuçon and the soprano Anna Prohaska, who is much in demand on the international opera and concert scene.
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