Saturday, February 27, 2010

Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra--Maestro Riccardo Chailly-conductor-Symphony Hall-February 25, 2010-Celebrity Series of Boston

Maestro Chailly and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra acknowledging the enthusiasm of the audience

 Riccardo Chailly.....Music Director and Conductor

  Louis Lortie ......Piano soloist

Despite a wild storm with torrential rain and flooding and high winds (Umbrellas were useless!), I attended a performance by the legendary Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the world's oldest civic orchestra, founded in 1743.  A stately German orchestra, all the men in white tie and tails, young musicians now appear to outnumber older ones and there are now a few women. Under the baton of Italian music director Riccardo Chailly it was a stellar performance. The program was all-Beethoven, including Piano Concerto No. 5, known as the  "Emperor" concerto and often referred to as a "symphonic" concerto, with piano soloist Louis Lortie, a Canadian with a dazzlingly technique.  Maestro Chailly made sure momentum never lagged, but he also allowed space for Lortie’s pianistic sparks to fly. After thunderous applause Mr. Lorti returned for an encore (very unusual before intermission):  the last movement of Beethoven’s “Les Adieux” piano sonata.  His fingers flew over the keyboard magically and effortlessly.

Following intermission the dynamic Mr. Chailly led the orchestra enthusiastically and with great gusto in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7After innumerable curtain calls and an ecstatic ovation from an appreciative audience, Mr. Chailly exclaimed,  "You can never hear too much Beethoven!"  Then taking up his baton,  he and the orchestra rewarded us with a delightful “Prometheus” Overture.

From my previous experience with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in 2007 again under the brilliant leadership of Mr. Chailly, I had very, very high expectations, which the orchestra lived up to and then some. It was a glorious, exciting, thrilling evening to treasure.

For a review by Boston Globe's Jeremy Eichler: Click here.

On Sunday New Yorkers will be feted at Carnegie Hall by this outstanding conductor, orchestra and pianist in a Chopin and Brahms program. Lucky New Yorkers!

Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5--"Emperor" Concerto--was written in 1809 in Vienna.  The first performance took place at the Leipzig Gewandhaus in 1810.  

Staatskapelle Berlin  and Daniel Barenboim as piano soloist and conductor play:

1st movement:   Allegro-Part 1--Click here:
2nd movement: Adagio un poco mosso--click here:
3rd movement: Rondo: Allegro ma non troppo--Click here:

Now listen to Claudio Arrau, Chilean pianist, play the 1st movement--his 85th anniversary at the Barbican, London, under the direction of Sir Colin DavisClick here:
Now listen to Hélène Grimaud, French pianist, play the 2nd movement: Click here: 

Hélène Grimaud--interview (in French)- --Claudio Abbado conducting the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, which he developed in 2003--Click here:

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