Moritz Gnann conducts the first of two concerts in the orchestra’s visit to Bucharest.
This evening’s concert opens with Music for Orchestra (1912) from Rudi Stephan – a composer whose promising career was cut brutally short when a sniper shot and killed the 28-year-old on the Eastern Front.
We also hear Haydn’s joyous C major Cello Concerto – presumed lost until 1961, when it turned up the National Museum in Prague. Whilst Haydn himself was born on the Hungarian border – his much-loved concerto sings with all the elegance and flair of an Italian tenor.
Enescu’s Rumanian Rhapsody No. 2, with its vivid Romanian rhythms and an air of spontaneity, is inward and reflective and is based on a popular 19th-century ballad.
Closing this evening is Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony - a profoundly brave riposte to Stalin, written as the Second World War drew to a close.