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Brahms's Piano Concerto No 1 and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 5

Saturday June 10, 2017 at 7:00 pm
St John's Smith Square, London
£18 and £12 (main stalls, reserved), £8 (side stalls, unreserved)
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  1. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No 1 in D minor Op 15 - Johannes Brahms
  2. Symphony No 5 in E minor Op 64 - Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Royal Orchestral Society presents its season finale concert at the beautiful St John’s Smith Square, Westminster, on Saturday, 10th June, at 7pm. Titled 'Essential Classics', the program is indeed that: Brahms's Piano Concerto No 1 and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 5…what could be more delicious.

In 1888, when Tchaikovsky met Brahms in Leipzig, the Russian was 48 and the German already 55. Despite Tchaikovsky professing to like Brahms the man, he noted that he “could not admire his music… There is something dry, cold, vague and nebulous in the music of this master that is repellent to Russian hearts… the chief thing is lacking - beauty!” History begs to differ, and Royal Orchestral Society invites London audiences to come judge for themselves.

Pianist Masayuki Tayama is winner of numerous international First Prizes in both Japan and across Europe. Moscow Conservatoire’s Mikahail Voskresensky calls Tayama "A rare and extraordinary virtuoso, with musicianship like no other." Adrian Brown returns to the ROS podium as special guest conductor.

Johannes Brahms’s monumental Piano Concerto No 1 in D minor, Op 15 (1858) was many years in the making, and was his first-performed orchestral work. Originally conceived as what would have been Brahms’ first symphony, it is today considered a pivotal masterwork in the concerto repertoire.

As virtuoso pianist, Brahms premiered many of his own works, including the beautiful Concerto No 1. As composer, he was and is considered both a traditionalist and an innovator: the collaborative interplay between solo and orchestral parts in our concerto was new for its time. The latter is full, richly scored, and integral to the composition, not merely background for the soloist.

Tchaikovsky’s mighty Symphony No 5 in E minor, Op 64 with its now famous 'fate' motif was composed in the summer of 1888 (shortly after his European tour and meeting with Brahms). Written during the twilight of Czarist Russia, the Fifth Symphony is fully and gloriously Tchaikovsky: “I am passionately fond of the national element in all its varied expressions... I am Russian in the fullest sense of the word,” he noted.

As Tchaikovsky was reaching the completion of the symphony, he wrote to a friend: "Now, as the symphony nears its end, I can view it objectively, … I must say that, thank God, it is no worse than my previous ones!" (Oh, Pyotr) The piece has of course gone on to become one of the composer's most popular works.

St John's Smith Square
Smith Square
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