Martin Helmchen, piano
RICHARD STRAUSS Don Juan
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 22, K.482
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 4
Jakub Hrusa brings to life worlds of passion and beauty in masterpieces by Strauss and Beethoven.
Opening the programme, Strauss's muscular Don Juan, a musical retelling of the Spanish legend of the same name, is a 20-minute orchestral powerhouse of a piece. Powerful brass and stormy strings depict Don Juan's life of seduction and eventual downfall. Written when Strauss was just 24, it was an instant success and established his reputation across Europe.
By contrast, Beethoven's Fourth Symphony has been unjustly overlooked between the bold Third and Fifth. It features some of the composer's most attractive melodies, in delicate interplay between light and shade. A brooding opening gives way to a sunny mood that leads into a slow movement so beautiful that Berlioz said it could only have been written by an archangel.
Similarly joyful, Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 22 lies at the heart of the programme, with soloist Martin Helmchen. "The world isn't short of brilliant concert pianists, but Martin Helmchen stands out even in that remarkable crowd," (Washington Post).
The Philharmonia Orchestra is a world-class symphony orchestra for the 21st century, led by Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor Esa-Pekka Salonen.
The Orchestra's home is Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall, London, where it presents over 50 performances each year. Six other residencies across the UK bring the Philharmonia to a wide national audience. Internationally, the Philharmonia is active across Europe, Asia and the USA.
The Philharmonia was founded in 1945. It has been self-governing since 1964 and is owned by its 80 members. Salonen has been Principal Conductor since 2008, with Santtu-Matias Rouvali being appointed Principal Conductor Designate. Jakub Hrusa is their Principal Guest Conductor, and honorary conductor positions are held by Christoph von Dohnányi and Vladimir Ashkenazy.
Royal Festival Hall stands at the heart of Southbank Centre complex. Opened in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain, the Hall is one of the world's leading performance venues. As well as the auditorium, the building consists of The Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre Shop, several places to eat and drink, and the Saison Poetry Library.www.southbankcentre.co.uk
These events have recently been added and have discounted tickets available