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RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra Season 18/19

Dvořák, Brahms

Friday 18th January 2019

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RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
Jaime Martín conductor
Barry Douglas piano

Dvořák Symphony No. 6 / 41’
Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 / 50’

Soundings: Free pre-concert talk at 6.30pm. Artist(s) in conversation.

Beauty and the Beast (that’s Brahms, not Barry Douglas) come together for a piano concerto of epic proportions and high drama with a heart of gold.

International keyboard star ¬– ‘a virtuoso performer with extreme musicality’ (Bachtrack) – Barry Douglas is back to deliver what promises to be a barn-storming performance of Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto.
It wasn’t easy being Brahms. He regularly burned compositions he wasn’t satisfied with (#twistedfirestarter).

No surprise, then, there’s a bit of a struggle going on here. If you think you hear a bit of Beethoven in the opening (two composers for the price of one!) don’t be surprised: the grave German was a god to his grumpy compatriot. And then… it’s all Brahms, and at the wildest extremes with finger-straining piano writing that turns the keyboard into an orchestra all on its own. Celebrity Island is a package holiday compared to this. Oh, and after all the muscle-flexing… there’s a happy ending. What more could you want?

If it’s tunes you’re after, Dvořák’s Sixth Symphony has them. Sunny, romantic and full of life, it’s like strolling through the Czech countryside in summertime. A sunburst of warming colour and the perfect tonic for the dog days of winter.

Conductor Jaime Martín leads both performances with the style and flair that has seen him described as ‘absorbing and impressive’ (Classical Source).

Presented by RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra