October 14, 2019. It’s all in the family—a phrase that has rung true many, many times in classical music, past and present. Looking back to the 18th century, the extended Bach family and the Haydn brothers, Joseph and Michael, have long been evidence of music as a family affair.
The wit and sparkle of Beethoven’s 8th Symphony, the nobility of one of the cornerstones of the cello repertory, Elgar’s Cello Concerto—played by the German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser—and the brilliant set of Haydn Variations that led the 40-year-old Brahms to complete his first symphony three years later are all yours to enjoy on this Sunday’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert re-broadcast.
Johannes Moser speaks with WRTI's Bliss Michelson.
Johannes Moser speaks with WRTI's Susan Lewis during intermission.
Yannick speaks with WRTI's Jim Cotter about the program.
Yannick Nezet-Seguin leads the Philadelphia Orchestra at Verizon Hall in a program culminating in Beethoven's monumental Symphony No. 3, "Eroica," originally intended as a grand and heroic tribute to Napoleon. Upon learning, however, that Napoleon had crowned himself Emperor of all Europe, Beethoven scratched out the dedication with such vigor that he tore through the paper. This is music that succeeds in creating a new architecture for the symphonic form, and it supplied ignition for the Romantic style in music.
Also on the program, Richard Strauss's Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings, which opens with a haunting rhythm clearly quoting the funeral march of Beethoven’s "Eroica." The intensity and pathos is that of a mature composer, nearing the end of his career, who has witnessed the World War II destruction of Europe, and stands in stark contrast to compositions of the younger Strauss we've heard in earlier broadcasts this season.
Filling out the program is Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1, written for the great cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and given its U.S. premiere (and first recording) by him with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Eugene Ormandy in 1959. Our soloist is German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser, a young virtuoso who will perform this fiendish concerto, which, like the 10th and 11th symphonies heard elsewhere in the 2013/2014 season, was written following the death of Stalin, and marks a return to greater creative freedom for Shostakovich.
Here's Johannes Moser performing in 2011. During intermission, WRTI's Susan Lewis will speak with the young cellist.
This week marks the birth of the celebrated 20th-century Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, one of his recordings with Eugene Ormandy and The Philadelphia Orchestra motivated one of today’s leading concert soloists, Johannes Moser, to pursue his career.
This Sunday at 1 pm, it's a Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert archival broadcast celebrating the legacy of the Orchestra’s late conductor laureate, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and featuring Norwegian cellist Truls Mork.
In this concert, recorded in 2002 at Verizon Hall, Mork will play the Schumann Cello Concerto in A minor. Also on the program, the Manfred Overture, and the Symphony No. 4 – all Schumann, and conducted by Maestro Sawallisch in memorable performances just a few years before his last appearance with the Philadelphians.