Just before taking up his new post as chief conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the young Israeli conductor Lahav Shani is making a very special first appearance with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra – on this concert, he is both conducting and playing the piano. The programme is an exploration of links between Bach, late Romanticism and contemporary music.
One of Bach’s most popular concertos is the Concerto in D minor, a transcription of an early violin concerto which is now lost. Originally intended for the harpsichord, the work has customarily been performed on the piano since the nineteenth century.
Bach had a major influence on Arnold Schoenberg, whose symphonic poem Pelleas und Melisande dates from the period in which he was composing tonal, late Romantic music. Viennese audiences in 1905 thought it a bridge too far, however, some even going as far as saying they thought the composer should be locked up in a psychiatric hospital.
The Polish (and former avant-garde) composer Krzysztof Penderecki’s neo-Romantic style is akin to early Schoenberg. His large-scale Polish Requiem had been a work in progress since the 1970s until he finally added the chaconne as the last movement in 2005.