German gravity and German gaiety in the key of D major: the Symphony No. 2 and the Violin Concerto belong to a serious but contented part of the oeuvre of Johannes Brahms. And playing this programme in what amounts to a tribute concert to the Hamburg-born composer will be his hometown orchestra.With a host of successes already behind him in Boston, Lyon, Manchester, Berlin and Munich - the American-Japanese conductor Kent Nagano has served as general music director of the Hamburg State Opera and the Hamburg Philharmonic since 2015. From Telemann to the Beatles to György Ligeti, many musicians could claim a connection to Hamburg, but one of the most important is Johannes Brahms, who might have pursued his career further south, in Vienna, but throughout his entire life, his music never shook off the north-western German gloom that it was "pre-destined” to bear. It is thus fitting for the Hamburgers to play Brahms - and this is something the city's orchestra indeed does, but the particular two works that Nagano has chosen for the concert are ones that reveal the serene and cheerful side of the composer's identity.
The Second Symphony is full of carefree and fluttering joy, while the work's finálé practically bursts with energy. Nor does the Violin Concerto dispense with lively good humour, and the work even has a Hungarian connection to it, since Brahms wrote it for his closest friend, the Hungarian virtuoso József Joachim. This perhaps explains why the dance-like rhythms of the closing movement introduce a "heel-clicking” verbunkos theme. The soloist for the concerto will be one of the great violin discoveries of recent years, the 28-year-old Veronika Eberle, who was invited nearly a decade ago to the Marlboro Music Festival, one of the world's most prestigious chamber music workshops, by Mitsuko Uchida. She plays the "Dragonetti” Stradivarius.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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Refreshments – Without the Queue
Thanks to our new catering service at the Átrium Snack Bar, you can forget about waiting in line during intermissions for some refreshments and get your order prepped especially for you by the time the intermission actually starts. Find out more about pre-ordering here.