Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: The Hebrides Overture
Robert Schumann: Cello Concerto in A minor
Pyotr Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in B minor ("Pathétique")
Leonidas Kavakos: the soloist to whom – regardless of personal taste – all members of the Festival Orchestra give five stars. The Greek violinist also boasts success after success as a conductor; now debuting with the BFO, he will demonstrate this to our audience in Budapest.
The concert begins with a journey down a winding road. Mendelssohn was influenced by a European voyage he took at 22, and in particular by the breathtaking view of the islands off the coast of Scotland, inspiring him to write one of his most popular overtures. Motifs from The Hebrides Overture, evoking the sometimes tranquil and sometimes raging waves of the seas, have appeared in films, cartoons and even video games.
The conductor and the soloist both make this concert special. The French Gautier Capuçon is the 21st century ambassador of the cello, an artist whose music is shaped by intuition. Dexterous, expressive and dramatic in force – yet still airy. Schumann’s cello concert, reaching its climax in the dramatic and lyrical second movement, will be brought to life on his brilliant Goffriller cello.
Symphony No. 6 is Tchaikovsky’s last finished symphony. The composer worked hard at it, even breaking down in tears several times while composing; he felt he was working on his best piece. Its opening and closing movements are filled with pain and sorrow, while the middle two movements feature airy dance music and the energetic pulse of a march. According to Tchaikovsky, the symphony had a “subjective” programme, but he never revealed to anyone what this might be, which has lent itself to plenty of speculation. Following his death, which remains shrouded in mystery to this day (and which came nine days after the premier of Symphony No. 6), the notion that the dramatic piece was his farewell message has become increasingly widespread.