Jaap van Zweden is leading the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in an exciting programme. Stravinsky’s groundbreaking ballet music Le sacre du printemps is juxtaposed with Mahler’s swansong and a new work by Martijn Padding.
Having recently assumed the post of music director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Jaap van Zweden is an ardent advocate of Dutch music. He will be leading the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in the world premiere of Martijn Padding’s Softly Bouncing. Next on the programme is Mahler’s Symphony No. 10, performed in a little-known two-part version. On the advice of Alma Mahler, the legendary conductor Willem Mengelberg completed not only – as is customary – the Adagio, but also the ‘Purgatorio’. The Concertgebouw Orchestra premiered the work under the direction of Mengelberg in 1924.
It’s hard to believe that Stravinsky’s exciting ballet Le sacre du printemps, with its angular, obsessive rhythms and dissonant harmonies, was composed just two years after Mahler’s death. The riotous 1913 premiere of Le sacre marked the death of nineteenth-century Romanticism and the dawning of the modern age.