Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major, op.61
--- intermission ---
Takemitsu Toward the Sea II.
Beethoven Symphony No. 4 in B-flat major, op.60
Featuring Antje Weithaas violin
in addition Orsolya Kaczander flute, Polónyi Ágnes harp
Conductor András Keller
Sandwiched between two Beethoven classics is one of the most fascinating works of 20th century Japanese classical music – one which has a link to the environmental protection movement Greenpeace: this is the far from standard, albeit all the more exciting programme of this promising concert. For generations, Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major has been one of the most performed works on the concert repertoire, and rightly so. The soloist for this evening is the German violinist Antje Weithaas who also travels the world as a chamber musician. Toru Takemitsu, who died in 1996, is perhaps the best-known global representative of Japanese composition. The influences of Debussy and Messiaen are apparent in his music just as much as traditional Japanese melodic rhythms as well as many Western compositional techniques of his time. Toward the Sea composed in three separate versions was commissioned by Greenpeace for its Save the Whales campaign. This is why there is a connection with Melville’s Moby Dick to the titles of the three parts. The two soloists of the second version (1981) played at this concert are flautist Orsolya Kaczander and harpist Ágnes Polónyi: one is the principal soloist of Concerto Budapest, the other a regular guest performer of contemporary music programmes by the ensemble. The concert winds up with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4. Berlioz was so enamoured of the second movement of this work that he insisted it could not have been created by a human but only by Archangel Michael.