Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky composed his Symphony No. 5 in 1888, the foundation year of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. Eternally plagued by doubt, he said the work was a failure after the premiere, which he himself conducted, in St Petersburg. But in the end, Tchaikovsky was quite satisfied with it. Its wealth of melodies and colourful orchestration are its strongest points. Just listen to the beautiful horn solo in the second movement, which unsurprisingly was later plagiarised in Frank Sinatra's 'Moon Love'.
The Russian conductor Dima Slobodeniouk, who is leading the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for the first time, is preceding Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony with Ravel's Le tombeau de Couperin and Ralph Vaughan Williams's Tuba Concerto. The Concertgebouw Orchestra and its then tuba player Donald Blakeslee first performed Vaughan Williams's Tuba Concerto in 1976. This time, the solo part is being performed by the orchestra's current tuba player, Perry Hoogendijk. It's the perfect opportunity to hear just what the tuba has to offer as a solo instrument.