Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major featuring soloist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, a renowned interpreter of French repertoire, is followed by Franck’s equally irresistible Symphony in D minor. Wolfgang Rihm is one of the most successful composers of our time. He has written a new work for the Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Jean-Yves Thibaudet shows how he has built a reputation for himself as a star pianist with Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, an irresistible piece that seamlessly blends jazz effects, Spanish echoes and Mozartian melodies. César Franck was a composer representing three distinct nationalities: he was born in Liège in present-day Belgium, and was strongly influenced by Wagner and other German composers, but became a pioneer of French music. This international character can clearly be heard in his Symphony in D minor. This is music with a solid Germanic architecture but also a sensuality which could only be French.
A new work by Wolfgang Rihm is certainly something to look forward to. His emotionally charged music appeals directly to audiences. Although audibly contemporary, he makes no secret of his close relationship with Schumann, Mahler and other nineteenth-century composers. Rihm has often been called a neo-Romantic, but not the soft sort. At times explosive, his music always brims with blistering energy.