Star violinist Leonidas Kavakos is the soloist in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. Under the baton of Daniel Harding the Concertgebouworkest also performs Schubert’s carefree Symphony No. 3.
Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos is a well-loved guest soloist with the Concertgebouworkest. Six years ago he served as artist in residence, the first ever in the history of the orchestra. Incredibly, he never performed Mendelssohn’s famous Violin Concerto in E minor with the Concertgebouworkest yet. That’s what makes this concert a truly long-awaited event.
Mendelssohn long had doubts about whether he should write a violin concerto, fearing that it would never be a match for Beethoven’s. While he was working on the composition, Mendelssohn often consulted his long-time friend, the violinist Ferdinand David. This makes Mendelssohn’s the first violin concerto to come into being in close collaboration with a violinist.
Although Schubert had only just turned eighteen when he composed his Symphony No. 3, it already shows his maturity as a composer. Unfortunately, like Mozart and - later - Mendelssohn, he died at a very young age: Schubert was only thirty-one and had never heard any of his symphonies performed in public. His optimistic Symphony No. 3 is chock full of wonderful melodies, dance rhythms and humour. In the Finale the influence of Schubert’s idol Rossini makes itself heard.