Beethoven described his Sixth Symphony as “more an expression of feeling than painting” even though the “Pastoral” Symphony dates from before the time of a dogged distinction between absolute and programme music. Even more astonishing than Beethoven’s labelling this a musical day in the country is its genesis: he composed the “Pastoral” contemporaneously with his Fifth Symphony and presented both for the first time on 22 December 1808 – what a programme! – along with the Fourth Piano Concerto, parts of the C major Mass, and the Choral Fantasy.
The contrast between absolute and programme music is also exhibited in this concert’s first half: the Double Concerto for Oboe, Harp and Chamber Orchestra by Witold Lutosławski stands alongside Henri Dutilleux’s Violin Concerto, the title of which – L’Arbre des songes – is ripe for programmatic interpretation. Marie-Pierre Langlamet (harp) and Jonathan Kelly (oboe), both members of the Berliner Philharmoniker, are the soloists in the Lutosławski Double Concerto; the solo part in L’Arbre des songes is taken by artist in residence Leonidas Kavakos.
Sir Simon Rattle Conductor
Leonidas Kavakos Violin
Jonathan Kelly Oboe
Marie-Pierre Langlamet Harfe
Witold Lutosławski: Double Concerto for oboe, harp and string orchestra
Henri Dutilleux: L’Arbre des songes, Concerto for violin and orchestra
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major “Pastoral”
In the interval: Leonidas Kavakos in conversation with Matthew McDonald
Live webcast on Sat, 20 Apr 2013, 8 p.m. (Berlin time)
> New York: 2 p.m. > Tokyo: Sun 21 Apr, 3 a.m.
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