Belgian National Orchestra – Hartmut Haenchen conductor – Lukáš Vondráček piano
Piano Concerto no. 1, op. 15 Johannes Brahms
Symphony no. 5 Anton Bruckner
As is often the case with artists, Bruckner’s talent was only really appreciated after his death. His symphonies became immensely popular during the 20th century, largely because of the emergence of long playing records, which proved eminently suited for the length and repetitive structure of his compositions. A development that neither Bruckner nor his critical contemporaries could have imagined.
Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 was inspired by his sorrow over the death of a well-regarded composer. The low, menacing opening gestures in the first movement of his Piano Concerto No. 1 express his immediate reaction to the news of Robert Schumann’s attempted suicide. At the time, Brahms was living with the composer and his wife Clara, and he was deeply indebted to the couple. Brahms became a close friend of Clara Schumann, which is why he dedicated the second movement of this Piano Concerto to her, in which he, in his own words, paints a ‘tender portrait’ of her.
Hartmut Haenchen conducts this evening as part of the Bruckner cycle, with the Belgian National Orchestra, in which all Bruckners symphonies are reviewed. Later this season he also performs Bruckner’s Fifth in combination with Brahms’ Second Concerto.