Cellist Gautier Capuçon makes a solo appearance with the Concertgebouworkest in Tchaikovsky’s nostalgic Variations on a Rococo Theme. Plus Myung-whun Chung conducts Bruckner’s well-loved Fourth Symphony.
Tchaikovsky transports us to the bygone belle époque with scrollwork motifs, gold leaf and smiling cherubs.
The Concertgebouworkest has a long-standing relationship with Myung-whun Chung, whose fresh view on the romantic repertoire comes in very handy on this programme. Tchaikovsky and Bruckner are full-blooded romantics. In the Variations on a Rococo Theme, Tchaikovsky demonstrates that he was equally influenced by the elegance and transparency of Mozart and the Classics. The compelling main theme transports us to the bygone belle époque with scrollwork motifs, gold leaf and smiling cherubs. The ‘narrator’, the French cellist Gautier Capuçon, returns to the Concertgebouworkest eight years since his first appearance.
Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4, too, sounds like a journey to other eras and spheres. The composer himself claimed to hear in the music a medieval city, knights on horseback, birdsong and rustling forests, which is why he gave the symphony its nickname ‘Romantic’. It was this work with which the composer finally gained recognition. Particularly in the Netherlands, where Willem Mengelberg had conducted the first performance by the Concertgebouworkest as early as 1897. Bruckner’s Fourth has been a rock-solid staple of the repertoire ever since.