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Munich Philharmonic

Saturday, October 26, 2019 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Valery Gergiev, Leonidas Kavakos by Marco Borggreve
This program’s virtuosity is thrilling and its intensity will keep you on the edge of your seat. Jörg Widmann’s Con brio is an orchestral showpiece that bustles with energy and wittily tips its hat to Beethoven. Brahms’s Violin Concerto is vigorous—especially in its solo pyrotechnics and gypsy-accented finale—and luxurious in its gorgeous melodies and richly sonorous orchestration. Shostakovich’s symphony is a profoundly personal work: a journey from despair to triumph filled with haunting beauty and flashes of the macabre that culminates in a rousing finale.

Part of: Jörg Widmann and Webcasts on medici.tv

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Munich Philharmonic is also performing October 25.

Leonidas Kavakos is also performing March 4, March 6, and March 8.


Munich Philharmonic
Valery Gergiev, Music Director and Conductor
Leonidas Kavakos, Violin



BRAHMS Violin Concerto



ENESCU "Ménétrier" ("The Fiddler") from Impressions d’enfance, Op. 28, No. 1

Event Duration

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

Watch on medici.tv

Video directed by Habib Azar.

Breguet Logo.

Sponsored by Breguet, Exclusive Timepiece of Carnegie Hall

The Munich Philharmonic residency with Valery Gergiev at Carnegie Hall is made possible by a leadership gift from Mrs. Veronica Atkins.

Jörg Widmann is the holder of the 2019–2020 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair at Carnegie Hall.

National Endowment for the Arts: arts.gov

Public support for Carnegie Hall Live on WQXR is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

In honor of the centenary of his birth, Carnegie Hall’s 2019–2020 season is dedicated to the memory of Isaac Stern in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to Carnegie Hall, arts advocacy, and the field of music.

At a Glance

This program presents two popular works that were once met with controversy. The dispute over Brahms’s soaring, fiendishly difficult Violin Concerto had to do with the violin part—whether the concerto was written for the instrument or “against” it, and whether the gorgeous oboe solo in the slow movement was allowed to steal too much of the show. With Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, the argument was about politics—whether this epic, exciting work was straightforwardly inspirational, or whether it utilized musical “codes” and ironic gestures that were secretly anti-Stalin even though the rhetoric of the piece suggests the opposite. With its stark yet lyrical opening movement, its deliciously sardonic Allegretto, its hymn-like slow movement (the heart of the piece), and its thrilling, whirlwind finale, the work is now interpreted any number of ways—or simply enjoyed as one of the most gripping symphonies of the mid–20th century.

Tonight’s concert opens with a recent work: Jörg Widmann’s Con brio, an homage to Beethoven.
The work was originally meant as a warm-up for all-Beethoven programs, but it has recently served as a curtain-opener for more varied concerts. In this case, it opens a program of works by two admirers of Beethoven. Brahms was the late–19th-century standard-bearer of the Haydn-Beethoven tradition; Shostakovich’s Fifth makes use of stark motifs as building blocks—a technique that Beethoven inaugurated—as well as an earthy, dance-like scherzo.

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