Live from St.David's Hall, Cardiff
Presented by Elin Manahan Thomas
Principal Conductor Thierry Fischer says farewell to Cardiff after six years at the helm of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in a suitably grand fashion. The concert features one of the most powerful and overwhelming of all symphonies, the Alpine Symphony by Richard Strauss. It's a day in the mountains, from sunrise through a soundscape of waterfalls, meadows, glaciers, mountain summits, a huge storm, and finally sunset dies away into night. Strauss writes for an orchestra of suitably massive proportions, over 100 players including six trumpets, six trombones, twenty horns, organ and wind machine, alongside a string section of over sixty players. It's a mighty paean to the oneness of humanity and nature, a "purification through strength, freedom through work and a reverence for nature, etarnal and magnificent". It promises to be a performance demonstrating both orchestra and conductor at their very peak.
Before that, Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt joins the orchestra for Mozart. Angela is well known for her her sensuality of tone and powerful intellectual drive, virtues she can ably display in Piano Concerto no.22 in E flat major. Written at the height of Mozart's popularity in Vienna in 1785-6, this concerto is full of rich melodies and bright orchestral colours, with an expansive, aristocratic grandeur and finely crafted scoring for wind - in particular Mozart's fondness for the clarinet.
Strauss - Ein Alpensinfonie
Angela Hewitt (piano)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Thierry Fischer (conductor).