The Concertgebouworkest is undertaking an extensive tour of China. The leading violinist Leonidas Kavakos is performing Brahms’s demanding Violin Concerto, and Daniel Harding leads the orchestra in Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony (‘Pastoral’).
The Concertgebouworkest is performing Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony (‘Pastoral’) under the direction of Daniel Harding. ‘Sinfonia pastorale: a recollection of country life’, the composer noted in his score. This ode to the countryside would become one of Beethoven’s best-loved works. Before the interval, the acclaimed Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos shares the stage with the orchestra in a performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s brilliant Violin Concerto. The programme also features Robert Schumann’s Overture to Genoveva.
‘No one loves the great outdoors as much as I do,’ said Beethoven, who naturally took a long walk every day – not just to enjoy the natural world, but apparently because it also stimulated his creativity. Of the ‘Pastoral’, Beethoven said that the music was ‘more an expression of feeling than a painting’. Yet the titles he gave the movements speak for themselves, and it takes little imagination to recognise in the music such things as the benevolent tranquillity of nature, a bird twittering or a thunderstorm.
The leading Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos is a frequent guest with the Concertgebouworkest. Six seasons ago, Kavakos even served as the very first artist in residence in the orchestra’s history. Now he and the orchestra are presenting his vision of Brahms’s demanding and compelling Violin Concerto in China.