Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider. Photo: Lars Gundersen
An American in Paris
A dream programme, with Brahms’ violin concerto and American gems.
Saturday 19 February 2022 15.00Ends approximately 17.00
Brahms’ outstanding violin concerto is music with an abundance of melodies and harmonic adventures that lead far beyond the ordinary pathways. The slow movement begins with one of Brahms’ most beautiful melodies – which is presented by the oboe! The euphoric finale offers the occasional nod to friend, inspiration and violinist Joseph Joachim – who performed the world premiere of the concerto – and his Hungarian musical roots, which shimmer here and there in the music.
Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider was born and lives in Denmark, and is among the elite performers of classical music. In 2020 he was appointed music director of the Orchestre National de Lyon and he is at the same time one of the world’s most in-demand violinists. We get to hear him in this capacity as the soloist in Brahms’ Violin Concerto.
The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by American Alan Gilbert, who is also the orchestra’s conductor laureate. The second portion of the concert has an American theme: Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, and George Gershwin’s An American in Paris, inspired by the time the composer spent in Paris in the 1920s.
In addition to the usual musical instruments, car horns are also heard here, and next to Rhapsody in Blue, this is one of Gershwin’s most performed and popular pieces. Many people will recognise the music from the 1951 movie, An American in Paris, in which Gene Kelly plays an American artist in Paris.
The musicApproximate times
Johannes Brahms Violin Concerto39 min
Jean-Marie Leclair Sr. From Sonata in e minor for two violins op 3:56 min
Leonard Bernstein Symphonic Dances from West Side Story arr Sid Ramin/Irwin Kostal23 min
George Gershwin An American in Paris16 min
- Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
- Alan Gilbert conductor & violin soloist
- Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider violin