Star violinist Janine Jansen, artist in residence with the Concertgebouworkest, shines in Brahms’s popular Violin Concerto. Under the direction of Philippe Jordan, who is making his first appearance with the orchestra, the Concertgebouworkest dazzles in two works by the sound magician Richard Strauss.
Artist in residence Janine Jansen is a world-class violinist. Indeed, her interpretations of well-known and lesser-known works have set the bar worryingly high for other violinists. When she performs an audience favourite like the Brahms Violin Concerto, it’s as if you’re hearing the piece for the very first time.
It was immediately clear that Brahms had produced a gem with this work. The distinctive melodic lines and the sharp Hungarian colouring are just as infectious as they were when the concerto was premiered in 1879.
Brahms was highly invested in classical craftsmanship and wanted nothing to do with music with a specific narrative. In counterbalance, this programme features Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, in which Richard Strauss tells the story of the rebellious Till Eulenspiegel in music which is very nearly cinematic. The same Strauss shows a different side in Der Rosenkavalier – this is graceful, deliciously ‘decadent’ music which looks back nostalgically on nineteenth-century Vienna.