Beethoven & Brahms
With Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, Le Concert Olympique continued its exploration of Beethoven's orchestral work. The Seventh is without doubt one of the most unruly of all nine symphonies, because Beethoven explored the boundaries of classical orchestral language more than elsewhere. This is expressed in the monumental structure, the obsessive rhythms, the wild harmonies and modulations, the brilliant orchestral playing and the extremely dramatic sound of the orchestra. The biggest challenge, however, is the slow movement, the well-known Allegretto, which is somewhere between a slow dance and a funeral march, and in which Beethoven managed to combine a sinister atmosphere with the charm of a subdued melody.
Brahms' Violin Concerto marks the end of romantic music that can still be played by a Beethoven orchestra. This has to do with the classical structure of the piece and the transparent – almost chamber music-like – treatment of the orchestra. Especially the slow movement sounds like an elegant song from an early romantic German opera. On the other hand, however, is the exceptionally high degree of technicality of the solo part, which makes this concerto one of the most demanding in the entire violin repertoire.
With the world famous violinist Viktoria Mullova, who has played this concerto with the most important orchestras and conductors of the world, the audience had the opportunity to hear this work at the highest level and with a healthy dose of originality.
L. VAN BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7 in A major, op. 92
J. BRAHMS: Violin Concerto in D major, op. 77
Jan Caeyers, conductor
Viktoria Mullova, violin