Top international violinist Wolfgang David to perform at St George’s Hall
The Orchestra dell’Arte continues its musical journey with this celebrity concert at St George’s Hall, Liverpool. The centrepiece of this concert features the Austrian violinist Wolfgang David. Wolfgang is well-established on the international concert stage, with performances in London, Austria, Switzerland and South Africa. He will play the celebrated Violin Concerto by Felix Mendelssohn, probably one of the most popular and most frequently performed violin concertos of all time
Mendelssohn spent six years writing and rewriting this concerto, the first performance being in Leipzig in 1845. Mendelssohn, then conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, designed the concerto with the idea of a performance by the orchestra’s concertmaster.
Mendelssohn used a basic Classical structure for the work, but added a few interesting twists of his own. Perhaps the most surprising for the time was the entry of the soloist in the opening bars, rather than after a lengthy introduction, as had generally been the case hitherto. In addition, the flamboyant cadenza in the first movement was written out in full by the composer. Up until that time, it was often left to the individual soloist to improvise a showy cadenza.
A further surprise was the link, without a pause from the end of the first movement, via a solo bassoon note, directly into the second movement.
The final exuberant movement follows immediately to its splendid close. Mendelssohn later wrote that he had deliberately linked the three movements in order to prevent the inter-movement applause, which had been the habit of audiences of the day. The modern tradition of withholding applause until the end of a performance is credited to Mendelssohn.
The concert opens with another work by Mendelssohn composed twenty years earlier than the Violin Concerto. The Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream was written when the composer was just 17. It has been described as ‘…the greatest marvel of early maturity in music…’
Mendelssohn had been reading the Shakespeare play in translation before conceiving this as a concert overture, in other words one to be played in isolation, and not as an introduction to an opera or play.
There are a number of typically quirky elements in the overture, including portraying of the braying of Bottom as an ass, and the use of the ophicleide, a now-obsolete version of the tuba.
The concert is rounded off with a performance of the Third Symphony by Franz Schubert written in 1815, just after his eighteenth birthday. Strangely, like many of Schubert’s symphonies, it was not published during the composer’s lifetime. Even though the symphony was probably privately performed just after its composition, the first public performance was not until many years later, in 1881 in London.
Schubert was infatuated with Mozart at the time of writing this work – the lightness of touch in the piece has often been attributed to this. He was then making his living as a schoolmaster, filling his spare moments writing the music that would eventually make him famous. This was the most productive period of Schubert’s life. He was writing at a tremendous speed at this time, and often well into the night. Not all of the music from this period is memorable or important, but there are real gems, including this symphony. The work was completed in no fewer than eight days. Indeed, the first three symphonies and a host of songs and chamber works were completed within a single year.
There are four movements, the first starting with the traditional slow introduction before rising into a bubbling allegro con brio. Rather than the standard slow movement in second place, Schubert opted for a faster-moving theme. The third movement is a minuet with the final movement beginning very quietly, before exploding into an unrestrained presto vivace.
Wolfgang David and L’Orchestra dell’Arte, conducted by Edward Peak will present an unmissable classical experience at The Concert Room at St George’s Hall at 3pm on Sunday 10th April 2016.
WOLFGANG DAVID WITH L’ORCHESTRA DELL’ARTE IN CONCERT:
Sunday 20TH April 2016
The Concert Room, St George’s Hall
Entrance via North Hall (opposite Walker Art Gallery) St Georges Place, Liverpool, L1 1 JJ
Door Open: 2.30pm
Concert Starts: 3pm
Tickets: £11 (incl. administrative fee) plus £2.25 fulfilment fee per order
Cash bar available
All tickets can be purchased at www.ticketquarter.co.uk. Alternatively call 0844 800 0410.