Sir John Eliot Gardiner & Jean-Guihen Queyras
Friday, 8 December 2017, 8.00 pm
Cello Concerto A minor, op 129
Symphony No 2 C major, op 61
Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor
Jean-Guihen Queyras, Cello
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Download Programme Booklet in German.
In 2017 John Eliot Gardiner toured Europe and the United States for half a year with his own period ensembles to celebrate the 450th birthday of that great innovator, Claudio Monteverdi. Everywhere he went his stylistically solid performances of the operas drew storms of applause. Now the British grand seigneur, soon to turn 75, is returning to the Bavarian RSO and will again devote himself to a single composer: the Romantic genius Robert Schumann, highly relevant today for his bold formal language and his fractured idiom. The soloist in the melodious and poetic Cello Concerto will be the French artist Jean-Guihen Queyras, a master of both modern cello playing and historical performance practice, and thus a perfect partner for Gardiner. If Clara Schumann was ravished by “the romanticism, the vivacity, the freshness and humour” of the Concerto, Robert entered a grave mental crisis with the creation of his Second Symphony: “I was still ill when I wrote the symphony in December 1845, and I feel one should hear this in it.” Only the jubilation of the finale manages to overcome the doleful strains of the slow movement. The C major Symphony concludes Gardiner’s Schumann portrait, which begins portentously with the restlessly flickering overture to Schumann’s experimental setting of Lord Byron’s dramatic poem Manfred. Evidently the composer had no trouble identifying with its tragically riven hero.