The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is performing Beethoven's Seventh Symphony under the direction of the Korean maestro Myung-Whun Chung, and it's sure to be a very exciting concert. Especially since virtuoso violinist Leonidas Kavakos will also be making a solo appearance in Dutilleux's colourful L'arbre des songes (The Tree of Dreams).
With its lively rhythms and obsessively repeating melodies, Beethoven's Seventh Symphony has been popular with listeners from the very beginning. At the premiere, in fact, the audience called for the third movement to be repeated as an encore. Later, Wagner famously characterised Beethoven's Seventh Symphony as the 'apotheosis of the dance'.
In Henri Dutilleux's L'arbre des songes, the solo violinist and orchestra erect a tree together. A melody begins in the violin and branches outwards, always with different colouring. Each new shoot is a reminder of what has come before, and heralds something new. Gradually, a symphonic tree of dream images and memories takes shape.