Elgar – Violin Concerto (46’)
Rachmaninov – Symphony No. 3 (41’)
Tonight’s game of two 45-minutes halves begins with an English classic. Before he became a composer, Edward Elgar had ambitions to become a professional violinist. He never got very far, but his background, education and affection for his chosen instrument certainly helps to explain the peerless magnificence of his writing for string instruments in every register. Originally written for the legendary virtuoso Fritz Kreisler, it’s gloriously romantic but fiendishly difficult – a huge technical challenge for Christian Tetzlaff, the soloist in the spotlight tonight. The second half of the concert is also given over to a single work, as John Storgårds conducts the BBC Philharmonic in Rachmaninov’s memorable Third Symphony. Critics didn’t take to the piece when it was premiered in the 1930s, but the composer ranked it among his best work – and today’s audiences have come around to his way of thinking.
Christian Tetzlaff – violin
John Storgårds – conductor