The Christmas Matinee is being led by the young Finnish conductor Klaus Mäkelä, who gave a particularly strong first performance with the Concertgebouworkest back in September. Mäkelä is conducting two undisputed highlights of the history of orchestral music, taking us on a journey over land and sea with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, the ‘Pastoral’, and Debussy’s La mer.
Beethoven’s atmospheric Sixth Symphony portrays a series of events in German nature – from the ‘Awakening of cheerful feelings on arrival in the countryside’ to a scene by a brook, a thunderstorm and a shepherd’s song. The Sixth was the first symphony of its kind, Beethoven once again proving to be a great innovator.
Full range of orchestral sounds
Debussy took the concept of programme music to a whole new level. With his ‘symphonic sketches’ which form La mer, we leave the countryside to make a sea voyage. In his inimitable way, Debussy manages to portray the play of the waves, the shimmering light and the dialogue between wind and sea using the orchestra’s full range of sounds.
Fabio Luisi, who was originally scheduled to conduct the 2020 Christmas Matinee, has unfortunately had to cancel after testing positive for COVID-19. The Concertgebouworkest is grateful that Klaus Mäkelä has agreed to take over the Christmas Matinee at such short notice and is delighted to see him again so soon after his Concertgebouworkest debut.
The recording of this performance was made possible by the Swiss Friends of the Concertgebouworkest. We thank the Swiss Friends for their support!