Chief conductor Daniele Gatti and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra are making a guest appearance at the Grand Palace Hall in Bucharest, where they will be performing Gustav Mahler’s Fourth Symphony. After the rustic first movement, the eerie second and the intimate third (several outbursts notwithstanding), we hear Chen Reiss with her angelic voice singing an ode to das himmlische Leben in the finale. The soprano solo, originally intended for the song cycle Des Knaben Wunderhorn, alternates with fast orchestral runs, as if angels are dancing in heaven.
Joseph Haydn wrote six symphonies for the Concert de la Loge Olympique, a masonic organisation in Paris (hence their appellation, the ‘Paris’ symphonies), in 1786. The first in the set is the Symphony No. 82, popularly known as ‘The Bear’. As was often the case, this nickname was not Haydn’s own, but was added later by a publisher who thought he recognised in the last movement music reminiscent of the bagpipes accompanying dancing bears, then a popular street act.