Emanuel Ax (piano) • conductor: Iván Fischer
Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 in F minor
If you were to ask a music aficionado to list the world’s greatest concert halls, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw would certainly figure at the top of the list. Since 2013, it has been known as the Koninklijk – Royal – Concertgebouw, as Queen Beatrix bestowed this title upon Amsterdam’s popular concert hall on the occasion of the building’s 125th anniversary.
This unique venue will host the equally unmatched Festival Orchestra, which, within its symphony orchestra, also has a Baroque ensemble. The concert at the Concertgebouw will begin with Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3, the manuscript of which was discovered by Mendelssohn. Pianist Emmanuel Ax will be playing a true classic: Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor – a popular work despite its serious and profound mood. In the closing work, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, the composer struggles with impending doom, but ultimately prescribes happiness as a panacea for all.
Construction work on the Concertgebouw began in 1883 and was completed in 1888. The plans were drawn by Adolf Leonard van Gendt, and followed the model of Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, considered the most modern of its time. The building stands on 2,186 sunken piles, each 12-13 meters long. The inauguration concert was performed by 120 musicians and a choir of 500 singers.
Its great hall is of imposing dimensions: 44 meters long, 28 meters wide and 17 meters high, and can seat 1,974 spectators. Although in the beginning, the acoustics left a lot to be desired, subsequent fine-tuning work succeeded in improving the aural ambience.
It regularly hosts opera, jazz and world music performances. Although it was not built for rock music, many popular rock groups played here in the 1960s, including Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Who. In the 1980s, it was found that the building was slowing sinking into the boggy, marshy soil. Extensive renovation works managed to restore the building to its original condition. With over 900 events a year and more than 700,000 visitors, the Concertgebouw is today one of the world’s most frequented concert venues, and, along with many other major performers and ensembles on the international music scene, Iván Fischer and the Festival Orchestra are among its regular guests as well. Online tickets