- 12.03.2017 Sunday 11:00 h, Kölner Philharmonie
- 13.03.2017 Monday 20:00 h, Kölner Philharmonie
- 14.03.2017 Tuesday 20:00 h, Kölner Philharmonie
Concerto for violin und orchestra D major (1878)
Edward Elgar Symphony No. 1 A-flat major (1907–1908)
Two late debuts, and the romantic violin concerto par excellence: Edward Elgar was after all already 51 years of age when he presented his 1st Symphony to the public. “It is wonderful, imbued with beauty”, raved Elgar’s wife, and even the composer found the work “heavenly music”. The conductor Hans Richter kicked off the London rehearsals for the premiere with the words: “Gentlemen, let us now rehearse the greatest symphony of modern times, written by the greatest modern composer …” The symphony is a swansong to the fading romantic era, full of the radiant splendour and pomp of the Victorian age – and yet alive with “a massive hope in the future”. Like the music of Johannes Brahms, Elgar’s symphony lives from warm timbres and a close dialogue of the voices. Sir Roger Norrington is also giving a late ‘debut’ with the Gürzenich Orchestra; on this programme, he will perform with the young Italian violinist Francesca Dego. This means an intensive dialogue between the two artists: in Brahms’s violin concerto, as emphasised already by Clara Schumann, “the orchestra completely blends with the player”.