Roll on Beethoven with celebratory concert with Harrogate Symphony Orchestra
This year marks the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven and the Harrogate Symphony Orchestra will pays its own tribute to the composer at the Royal Hall on Saturday March 21.
The concert will feature his 7th Symphony. Whether you are a Beethoven fan or not, there is no denying that he was one of the true game-changers of music, bridging the gap, and indeed driving the switch, from the discipline of the Classical era to the freedom of the Romantic.
The 7th Symphony shows Beethoven at the height of his composing powers and popularity.
The composer conducted the premiere in Vienna in December 1813, with an audience response so enthusiastic that the second movement received an immediate encore.
The premiere was given in aid of injured soldiers and the symphony has patriotic overtones. At this point Beethoven had ended his admiration for the Emperor Napoleon and he told the performers this concert was a “joyful sacrifice of our powers for those who have sacrificed so much for us”.
The second movement is probably the most recognisable, with themes largely on the strings demonstrating the ambitious direction that Beethoven had adopted for string writing.
Marked allegretto, despite its somewhat solemn themes, it is only a “slow” movement in comparison to the breathless pace of everything else. All of the four movements have elements of dance-like rhythms and the finale romps along.
The concert will also feature Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet overture and the return of local star pianist Julian Saphir, to play Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and the scherzo from
Litolff’s concerto symphonique no. 4.
Tickets from the Harrogate Theatre box office:01423 502116