Master pianist Igor Levit is performing the Schumann Piano Concerto with the Concertgebouworkest conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano. Orchestra and conductor complete the evening with Mahler, Strauss and Diepenbrock.
Igor Levit returns to the Concertgebouworkest to perform Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto under the direction of Sir Antonio Pappano. The outstanding Russian–German pianist made his Concertgebouworkest debut in April 2018. Levit’s performance was ‘self-assured and challenging’, wrote De Volkskrant of his performance of Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto. Schumann’s passionate Piano Concerto now provides an opportunity for another exciting partnership. Pappano and the Concertgebouworkest are also performing poetic works by Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss and Alphons Diepenbrock.
Robert Schumann wrote just one piano concerto, which is actually quite astonishing considering that the piano was dearest to him and that, in his wife Clara, he had a sublime pianist dedicated to him at his side. The concerto he produced is thus a lively, brilliant work in which the soloist can show off many sides of his or her pianism and character.
Richard Strauss based his symphonic poem Don Juan on Nikolaus Lenau’s version of the famous legend. In Lenau, Don Juan’s debauchery stems from his determination to find ideal love. He ultimately falls into despair and melancholy. Mahler’s ‘Totenfeier’, originally intended to be a symphonic poem about a person at a graveside thinking back over the life of a deceased love one, is both expressive and opulently orchestrated. The overawing funeral march was given a second life as the opening movement of Mahler’s Second Symphony, but is also performed as an independent work.
Richard Strauss’s Dutch contemporary Alphons Diepenbrock died on 5 April 1921. This programme features the opening and final movements from his last major work, the imposing symphonic suite Electra.