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Bravo concert series: Strings Eternal
October 16, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
For the first concert of its season, Symphony New Brunswick welcomes the return of international stars violinist Giora Schmidt and Maestro Bernhard Gueller in an explosively passionate program of German repertoire. This concert, titled Strings Eternal,will feature the monumental Brahms Violin Concerto, a work considered to be the pinnacle of both the violin and orchestral repertoire. Schimdt describes the concerto as being “a huge symphonic work that happens to have a solo violin part.” In addition, the orchestra will present Beethoven’s graceful Fourth Symphony, and Arvo Part’s mesmerizing work, Fratres.
The Brahms Violin Concerto is breathtaking in its artistry and also tremendously demanding technically. It was written for the violinist Joseph Joachim, whose influence on the concerto is without a doubt largely present, especially in passages asking for tenths, an interval requiring large and nimble hands. At the time, the piece seemed to be beyond the abilities of most violinists. Giora Schmidt is described as possessing a “diabolic technique” and an “intense and impassioned feat of artistry”, a perfect combination for this monstrous piece. He characterizes the concerto as “dreamy and turbulent with gorgeous oboe solos in the slow movement and a gypsy-inspired finale.”
Also on the program will be Beethoven’s fourth symphony. In contrast to the highly romantic Brahms concerto, this work highlights Beethoven’s more subdued side. Beethoven’s fourth is probably the lesser-known of all Beethoven symphonies. However, its musical content is of no lesser quality. Schumann once called it “a slender Grecian maiden between two Nordic giants.” The character of the piece is at times suspenseful, at times lively, and contains moments of pure sweetness.
To finish, the orchestra will present Arvo Part’s Fratres. Composed in 1977, it is one of the Estonian composer’s most popular works. It encapsulates both frantic activity and sublime stillness, and is a mesmerizing piece of minimalist music.
Maestro Bernhard Gueller will lead the orchestra in this very well balanced program. Acclaimed by musicians, critics and audience for his musical purity, and fresh interpretations, there is no doubt that Maestro Gueller will skillfully lead the orchestra in an authentic and enthusiastic performance of these fine works. Schmidt says of Gueller: “Maestro Bernhard Gueller is one of my favorite conductors to collaborate with. It is always a genuine collaboration. He is a musician’s conductor; it is not ever about him. You really feel an ease with him, and get the sense that he is one of us. This will be our fourth collaboration together.”
Schmidt states that he is very much looking forward to his return to New Brunswick. “Last time I was here, I really felt like we were in this together. SNB highlights this community feel in a way. Camaraderie then translates to an enjoyable performance. And I think the audience really feels that as well.”
Strings Eternal Concert details :
October 16 in Moncton at the Capitol Theatre at 7:30 pm
October 17 in Fredericton at the Playhouse at 7:30
October 18 in Saint John at the Imperial Theatre at 7:30