The South Korean conductor Myung-whun Chung is leading the Concertgebouworkest in Brahms’s First Symphony and Sibelius’s poetic Violin Concerto, with the Concertgebouworkest’s own leader Liviu Prunaru as soloist.
Johannes Brahms composed his First Symphony after much doubt and hesitation stemming from his fear of being thought of as a second-rate Beethoven. Years of tinkering and polishing finally produced the result he had hoped for: his First was an instant success with both critics and audience members and has been a staple of the standard repertoire ever since the premiere. Brahms’s First Symphony and Myung-whun Chung, who has demonstrated many times his close ties with the German Romantic repertoire at the helm of the Concertgebouworkest, are the perfect match.
A soloist from the orchestra’s own ranks is taking to the stage to perform Jean Sibelius’s renowned Violin Concerto. Liviu Prunaru is leader of the Concertgebouworkest. Sibelius’s concerto is less about technical acrobatics than it is about poetry. The violin seems to drift through the orchestral landscape musing and singing. The sometimes improvisatory style of the violin part has earned the work a special place in the violin repertoire.