The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra performs Richard Strauss’s Macbeth, conducted by Andris Nelsons. Strauss based his tone poem on Shakespeare’s play about general Macbeth usurping the Scottish throne.
Richard Strauss based his Macbeth on Shakespeare’s eponymous play. Strauss has written ‘Macbeth’ in the score at the moment when the first theme is heard (here at 0:26). It is sturdy music, full of ambition and conveying the impression of a successful general. Lady Macbeth’s music (at 2:43) is sweetly seductive, although later it becomes capricious and obdurate by turns. These are Strauss’s only indications as to the programme of the tone poem, but one can identify a number of moments from the play in the music with certainty.
Andris Nelsons debuted with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2008 and now conducts the orchestra regularly. Nelsons studied with Alexander Titov in St. Petersburg and took private lessons with Mariss Jansons. Having conducted the North West German Philharmonic, the Latvian National Opera and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons currently is music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig.