On Friday, March 27th at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1, our Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert re-broadcast from 2019 brings pianist Jonathan Biss to the stage, for a performance of Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, a work that transports the piano concerto into the realm of symphonic music. Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts.
Many years in the making, and the only piano concerto Schumann would ever write, the a-minor concerto is not a traditional virtuoso showpiece, but rather a cooperative venture between the soloist and the orchestra, and one of the greatest ever written.
Also on the all-German program Sunday, the Philadelphians perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, the monumental “Eroica,” nothing less than a turning point in the history of orchestral music. Performed for the first time in February of 1805, it was a puzzle to the players, critics, and listeners, who all found the work exceedingly difficult.
From the very first notes, it was clear that this was no ordinary symphony. Two fortissimo E-flat chords, followed immediately by a simple theme constructed out of the notes from that chord! Dissonance, and other striking harmonic details assaulted the ear. Never before had a composer produced such a revolutionary work.
The concert begins with a signal work of early German musical Romanticism, the celebrated Overture to Weber’s opera Der Freischütz, brimming with folk material, mysticism, magic, danger, and a dose of the supernatural replete with Faustian overtones.
During intermission, WRTI’s Debra Lew Harder speaks backstage with pianist Jonathan Biss.
Weber, Schumann, and Beethoven, with The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick! You can’t miss this one! That’s Friday, March 27th at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1, and streaming worldwide at wrti.org. Also on WRTI HD-2 on Thursday, March 26th at 7 PM.
Weber: Overture to Der Freischütz
Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54
I. Allegro affettuoso
II. Intermezzo: Andantino grazioso
III. Allegro vivace
Jonathan Biss, piano
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E flat, Op. 55 (“Eroica”)
I. Allegro con brio
II. Marcia funebre: Adagio assai
III. Scherzo (Allegro vivace) and Trio
IV. Finale: Allegro molto—Andante—Presto
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Gregg Whiteside is producer and host of the Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts on WRTI 90.1, streaming online at WRTI.org, and on our mobile app!