GIOACHINO ROSSINI Overture from the melodramma tragico Semiramide
EDVARD GRIEG Piano Concerto and Orchestra in A minor, Op. 16
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op. 13 – “Winter Dreams”
End of the concert approx. 01:20 pm
Print programme (PDF)
“That good-for-nothing Peter! Now he’s traded in the law for a set of pipes!” This was how the uncle of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky scolded his nephew when the young man turned to music instead of continuing his law school studies and becoming a civil servant. At that time, the musical minds of St Petersburg were embroiled in dispute: adherents of a conservative academic training in the Western tradition locked horns with the members of ‘The Mighty Handful’, who wanted to compose Russian music in a nationalist style and at the same time were filled with enthusiasm for Berlioz and Liszt. This contretemps is mirrored in Tchaikovsky’s enchanting First Symphony, premiered in 1868. Absolute music characterizes this work, and then again not; its allusive subtitle is ‘Winter Dreams’ and the first two movements feature the inscriptions ‘Daydreams on a Winter Journey’ and ‘Land of Gloom, Land of Mists’.
Written in the same year as the premiere of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony, Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto greeted the music world with a distinctively Nordic accent. While composers like Haydn and Mozart were inspired by the folk music of the Alps or Pannonia, Grieg drew from the natural soundscapes of his native Norway — making this the ideal programme for András Schiff, Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin.