Shelley interprets Beethoven
Beethoven in the hands of legendary pianist Howard Shelley. And also an Italian overture, a Tim Burton-inspired Swedish success on the world stage, and the twenty-year-old Mendelssohn's careworn homage to Luther. Welcome to an exciting evening with NOSO!
Piano Concerto No. 4 is the most lyrical of the five piano concertos composed by Beethoven, but also the most difficult to play. But with legendary British pianist Howard Shelley at the piano, we have no cause for concern. Shelley has been a big favourite with audiences since he played Bach and Chopin on British TV when he was ten years old. He now has more than 75 recordings under his belt, has been awarded the OBE and continues to travel all over the world in the service of music.
This evening's programme also includes a piece which was a huge success at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall a few years ago: A Freak in Burbank by Swedish composer Albert Schnelzer. With inspiration gained from such diverse sources as Stravinsky, Iron Maiden and Balkansväng, he creates music which is direct, loaded and pleasing to the ear. In A Freak in Suburbia, he fantasises about what Haydn would have sounded like if he had been involved in the crowded town in which neo-Gothic filmmaker Tim Burton grew up. This work has been played by a number of orchestras all over the world, and Schnelzer has now received an order for a new "show opener" from the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sveriges Radio Symfoniker, Tales from Suburbia, which will be opening in London in 2015.
This evening's concert will begin with an elaborate overture by Italian composer Muzio Clementis and end with Mendelssohn's second symphony which, had he not had measles at precisely that time, would have been ready in time for the 300th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Instead, the piece was not performed for the first time until 21 years after his death. This was why this symphony came last in line and is known as "the fifth".
Clementi: Overture in D
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4
Albert Schnelzer: A Freak in Burbank
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 5 (the Reformation)
Conductor: Howard Shelley
Soloist: Howard Shelley (piano)
The NorrlandsOperan Symphony Orchestra