About the program
Vivaldi: Concerto for violin and cello in B major
Vivaldi with his exceptionally wide oeuvre very frequently embarrasses future generations who sometimes do not take his music seriously enough. This is illustrated very well by the malicious remark of Stravinsky, who said “Vivaldi composed one concerto in his whole life, but he did it four hundred times”. Nevertheless, Vivaldi is a major innovator in music history. This is proved among others by the overwhelming cello part of his Double concerto in B major which sometimes reminds us of Beethoven.
Max Bruch: Canzone; Adagio
Bruch was born in 1838 and started his career as a child prodigy: he was nine years old when he composed his first piece, his compositions were played at concerts when he was ten and eleven, while he was thirteen when his first symphony was presented by the Cologne Philharmonic. During his long life, he pursued the romantic style he established when he was young. In his later years he was considered utterly outdated, but some of his compositions avoided oblivion.
W. A. Mozart: Haffner Serenade
The Haffner Serenade was composed in 1776 for the wedding of Elisabeth Haffner, the daughter of the mayor of Salzburg. The genre of the serenade was quite popular in Salzburg at that time. The protagonist of the Haffner Serenade is the violin: we could also say that the composer hid a violin concerto in the second, third and fourth movement.
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 (“Italian”)
Mendelssohn finished his 4th symphony in 1833. In the symphony he found a musical expression of his impressions gathered during his Italian stay. He said “in most cases I should be grateful to ruins, pictures and the tenderness of nature for music”.
Antonio Vivaldi: Double concerto for violin and cello B-flat major RV 547
Max Bruch: Canzone op.55 for cello
Max Bruch: Adagio op.56 for cello
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Haffner Serenade K.250 (mvmts. 1-4)
Felix Mendelssohn: Symphony no.4