As the year goes on, celebrations to mark the 250th Anniversary of Beethoven’s birth year will be taking place virtually every day, somewhere in the world.
Making its first of two visits to Plymouth in 2020, Bournemouth Symphony is making sure it gets in early to mark the celebrations.
BSO spokesperson Heidi O’Neill comments: ‘Marta Gardolińska, the young conductor recently announced as a 2019/20 Dudamel Fellow with the LA Philharmonic, will be leading this mainly-Beethoven programme, celebrating the composer’s anniversary year. The BSO Young Conductor in Association will perform alongside Venezuelan pianist Alfredo Ovalles in the composer’s Fourth Piano Concerto.
Love of nature
‘The main musical manifestation of Beethoven’s love of nature is his Sixth Symphony, his most direct symphonic example of programme music. The leisurely opening ‘Awakening of Cheerful Feeling upon Arriving in the Country’ is followed by a ‘Scene by the Brook’ which unfolds with aptly flowing grace, accompanied by the birdsong of a nightingale, quail and cuckoo. The ‘Merry Assembly of Country Folk’ have their dancing interrupted by a violent thunderstorm, but soon the opening mood of serenity is restored by the final, uplifting ‘Shepherds’ Song of Thanksgiving’.
A thrilling dialogue
‘Beethoven’s unorthodox Fourth Piano Concerto, opening with the unaccompanied soloist, is a thrilling dialogue between piano and orchestra which sees the argument eventually being won by the piano before hurling headlong into the joyful, boisterous finale. It once and for all shakes itself loose from the constraints of the 18th century. Virtuosity no longer concerns Beethoven at all; his artistic aim here is the expression of deeply poetic and introspective thoughts.
‘Mozart’s Overture to Don Giovanni – which opens the programme -provides more than a hint of the drama to follow, with its ominous opening before the music hurries off with the exuberance, vitality and virility of the Don himself.’
For Tickets and further information, please visit the BSO’s website.
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra – ‘Pastoral Beethoven’ takes place on Wednesday February 5 in Plymouth Guildhall, at 7.30pm
Philip R Buttall