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CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Thursday, February 14, 2019 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
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Daniel Harding by Julian Hargreaves
While their approaches differed, Mozart and Brahms both achieved transcendence at the culmination of their symphonic careers. Mozart wrote his Symphony No. 40 in a white-hot flash of inspiration, while Brahms labored over his Symphony No. 4 for more than a year. Both symphonies are brilliantly crafted, Mozart’s buoyed by bustling energy and culminating in a finale Wagner called “exuberant with rapture and audacity,” while Brahms’s grand architecture is built on the foundation of a series of simple opening motifs that ascend to a stunning final movement inspired by a Bach theme.

Part of: International Festival of Orchestras I

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is also performing February 15.

Performers

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Daniel Harding, Conductor

Program

SCHUMANN Manfred Overture

MOZART Symphony No. 40

BRAHMS Symphony No. 4


Schumann's Manfred Overture will be performed side by side with members of the National Youth Orchestra of the USA and members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.

At a Glance

This concert presents three masterpieces in the Viennese tradition that represent their respective composers at the pinnacle of achievement. Mozart’s 40th Symphony sums up Viennese Classicism in the late 18th century, while Brahms’s Fourth preserves that tradition in the late 19th century, despite the incursions of Wagnerism. Both works, however, transcend easy characterization. Mozart’s symphony has such a large and shifting range of emotion that some experience it as stormy and melancholy, others as subtle and delicate. Brahms’s work projects his classicism in its most uncompromising manifestation: The first movement is in sonata form, the scherzo recalls those by Beethoven, the slow movement is a strict set of variations, and the finale is a monumental passacaglia. Yet Brahms’s melodies are as memorable as those of any Romantic—particularly in the exquisite slow movement—and its initial designation as a “tragic” symphony is belied again and again by moments of tenderness and affirmation. Schumann’s Manfred Overture—widely regarded as his most powerful orchestral piece—is also a late work, and one that was greatly admired by Brahms. Inspired by Byron’s lonely antihero, it has an emotional turbulence that represents the essence of Romanticism.

Bios

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) is one of the best orchestras in the world, known for its stylistic flexibility and unique sound. The exceptional acoustics of the Concertgebouw play  ...

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) is one of the best orchestras in the world, known for its stylistic flexibility and unique sound. The exceptional acoustics of the Concertgebouw play an important role, as does the quality of the musicians and the influence of its chief conductors, of whom there have been only seven since the orchestra was founded in 1888: Willem Kes (1888–1895), Willem Mengelberg (1895–1945), Eduard van Beinum (1945–1959), Bernard Haitink (1961–1988), Riccardo Chailly (1988–2004), Mariss Jansons (2004–2015), and Daniele Gatti (2016–2018). Leading composers such as Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss conducted the orchestra on more than one occasion. The orchestra continues to collaborate with composers and contributes to the creation of new repertoire by regularly commissioning works.

In addition to some 90 concerts performed at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra gives 40 concerts at leading halls around the world each year. The orchestra has made more than 1,100 audio and video recordings to date, many of which have won international distinctions. The orchestra has its own in-house label—RCO Live—and helps develop talent through the RCO Academy, collaborating with other institutions and organizing master classes.

Between 2016 and 2018, the RCO visited all 28 member states of the European Union, performing one work together with a local youth orchestra in each EU country (RCO Meets Europe: Side by Side).

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Daniel Harding

Daniel Harding made his professional conducting debut in 1994 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, serving as assistant to Sir Simon Rattle that season. The following season, he ...

Daniel Harding made his professional conducting debut in 1994 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, serving as assistant to Sir Simon Rattle that season. The following season, he was assistant to Claudio Abbado with the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Mr. Harding holds positions as music director of the Orchestre de Paris (since September 2016) and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra (since 2007); artistic director of Ohga Hall in Karuizawa, Japan; and conductor laureate of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. He makes regular guest appearances with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Berliner Philharmoniker, London Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Harding has led opera productions at La Scala in Milan, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, the Royal Opera House in London, Vienna State Opera, and Bayerische Staatsoper. The French government has bestowed upon him the rank of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Since his first performance with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in January 2004—which featured works by Britten, Thomas Adès, and Lutosławski—Mr. Harding has returned to the orchestra a number of times, conducting in Amsterdam and on various tours. He led the orchestra in works by Bach and Brahms’s Third Symphony in March 2016.

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