The second concert of the 2011 season presents three symphonic masterpieces.
Haydn Symphony #83 in G minor, the second of his six Paris symphonies, has been called “a remarkable fusion of Brilliance, elegance and warmth.” The symphony is known as “La Poule”—“The Hen” because of the musical theme in the second movement played by the oboe in counterpoint with the first violins which sounded to some wit like a hen.
Schubert’s Symphony #8, the “unfinished” symphony, was not completed by Schubert even though he lived another 6 years. It is unknown whether there ever was additional music as the manuscript was not made public for 37 years after his death and at that time had pages torn out.
The Brahms Concerto for Violin and Cello is a very rare combination for 19th century: the only 19th century contribu-tion to the 51 known concertos for violin and cello. His final symphonic composition combines the fullness of the Brahmsian symphonic style with the passion of his intimate chamber pieces. The piece was written as a piece offering to the great violinist, Joseph Joachim who had been furious with Brahms for siding with his wife during their divorce proceedings.
With the Brahms Concerto for Violin and Cello, Bellingham Festival of Music presents the debut of another incredible young violin virtuoso: Chen Xi had been identified as an outstanding talent, a childhood prodigy winning international competitions since age 12. In 2002, despite be-ing assaulted and injured by a Russian soccer fan angry because Russia had lost to Japan (even though Chen is Chinese!), he went on to win the prestigious Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow.
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Vol. 2011, No.2
- At the premiere of the 3rd piano concerto, his friend who was turning pages wrote that the pages were blank as Beethoven didn’t have time to write out the solo part and played from memory.
- Beethoven dedicated his 8th Symphony to his banker,
- A reviewer in Der Freimuthige wrote of the premier of Lenora No 3: “No one has yet written such incoherent music, ostentatious, chaotic and disturbing for the ear. Truly repulsive sequence, and some minor ideas, far from any sublime touch, com-plete the incredibly unpleasant impression.