BBC NOW - Bartok, Mozart
Thomas Sondergard conducts the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in Mozart's Symphony no. 40 and Bartok's Divertimento. Alban Gerhardt is the soloist in Barber's Cello Concerto.
Live from Cheltenham Town Hall.
Presented by Fiona Talkington.
Barber: Cello Concerto
8.30 During the interval, Fiona Talkington talks to soloist Alban Gerhardt, including music by Britten and Faure.
Mozart: Symphony no. 40
Alban Gerhardt (cello)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Thomas Sondergard (Principal Conductor)
Mozart was at the peak of his creativity when he composed his tragic Fortieth Symphony, despite the poverty he faced and the recent death of his youngest child. Principal Conductor Thomas Sondergard returns to Cheltenham to conduct this great symphony and the Divertimento for strings by Bartok. Written on the eve of World War Two, immediately before the composer left his native Hungary for the United States, the Divertimento reveals Bartok at the height of his maturity. The two outer movements bustle with sunny optimism, in stark contrast to the funereal middle movement, reflecting the turmoil in Europe at the time.
Alban Gerhard is one of Germany's oustanding cellists, now at the top of his game, whose performances combine an intensely emotional response with an arresting stage presence. He's been a regular soloist with the orchestra since his days as one of the first Radio 3 New Generation Arists, fifteen years ago. Tonight he plays the romantic, bittersweet concerto by Samuel Barber, best known for his Adagio for Strings.