In addition to works by Brahms and Tchaikovsky, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is performing Bartók’s Viola Concerto with Tabea Zimmermann, artist in residence during the 2019–20 season.
There are far fewer world-renowned solo violists than there are violinists or cellists. Fortunately, there is Tabea Zimmermann, who is serving as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s artist in residence this season. Even before the season has well and truly started, the German violist will be performing as soloist in Bartók’s Viola Concerto on the Bankgiro Loterij Summer Concerts Series. It is one of the last works he wrote, and is unfinished. Tabea Zimmermann will be performing the concerto in a version she herself has completed. The end is characterised by Hungarian folk melodies and furious virtuosity.
The conductor Tugan Sokhiev garnered great acclaim for his last performances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, in 2006 and 2010. Now he returns with Brahms’s beloved Haydn Variations and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1. The young Tchaikovsky took inspiration from Russia, Beethoven and Mendelssohn. The title ‘Winter Daydreams’ is largely connected with the first two movements, entitled ‘Dreams of a Winter Journey’ and ‘Land of Desolation, Land of Mists’. A number of his fellow composers, who had already put the young Tchaikovsky through his paces, were of the opinion that the First Symphony was too ‘Western’ and not Russian enough. This is rather odd – with its prominent themes taken from Russian folk music and its melancholy character, Tchaikovsky’s First could well be called an emphatically Russian symphony.