Chefdirigent Sakari Oramo
LvB250 – BEETHOVEN’S FIRST
Beethoven meets Ethel Smyth.
Wednesday 18 March 2020 19.00Ends approximately 21.00
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 will be performed at this concert beside Ethel Smyth’s large-scale Serenade. Like Beethoven she had a defiant personality, and she staked claim to her life as a composer through his piano sonatas.
The world premiere of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 was on the evening of 2 April 1800 at the Burgtheater in Vienna. The composer was 29 years old and already famous for his music, which he composed with irrepressible willpower and potent personal integrity. He simultaneously gave a nod to his teacher and predecessor Haydn: the symphony begins with a slow section that elegantly leads into the quick-paced main section, a form which Haydn used in many of his symphonies.
The symphony is idyllic, nearly rural at times, but also dramatically powerful with whirling strings and a majestic wind section.
When English composer Ethel Smyth (1858–1944) began to learn Beethoven’s piano sonatas, it was like “walking on my own legs into a brand new world.” They coloured her for life. At the conservatory in Leipzig, she later met Dvorák, Tchaikovsky and Grieg, as well as Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms. Her Serenade for orchestra is as large-scale as a symphony. Beethoven was an incredibly strong source of inspiration, and elements of Brahms can also be found here.
Chief conductor Sakari Oramo leads the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra at this first concert presenting all of Beethoven’s symphonies during the grand Beethoven anniversary.
The musicApproximate times
Ethel Smyth Serenade in D major36 min
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 124 min
- Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
- Sakari Oramo conductor