The concert is presented in the old Viennese Spanish Riding School, which is also a setting for cultural events in the city. It’s a beautiful place for music.
The program begins with Johannes Brahms‘ Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a. It turned out later that this theme was actually called “St. Anthony chorale“‘ and Brahms composed a series of eight variations on this theme that his public really admired.
The second work on this CD is the Haydn Cello concerto number 1 in C-Major, and it is beautifully played by cellist Gautier Capucon. This was totally elegant playing, and it showed us fine ensemble work between the orchestra and the soloist.
I noticed that Berlin Philharmonic seemed to be “seeded” with a number of players whom I did not recognize, mostly in the string sections. Perhaps these were members of Mr. Dudamel’s South American Systema orchestra (?).
The program closes with an excellent reading of Beethoven’s Symphony #5, also conducted from memory by Mr. Dudamel, as were the previous works. I have heard Beethoven’s Fifth symphony hundreds of times, but never quite like this version. Gustavo Dudamel’s interpretation brought a directness and freshness that gave new life to this old “war horse”.
This is a fine concert that I will listen to again via the excellent DVD recording technology.
Here is Gustavo Dudamel conducting Beethoven’s 5th symphony – 1st movement:
Tags: Gustavo Dudamel, Brahms, Haydn, Beethoven, DVD of the Month, April 2015