Beneath the gorgeous surface of the Romantic era passions ran deep, and a simple dance rhythm could be enough to set pulses racing and hearts pounding. Weber’s ‘Invitation to the Dance’ begins with quiet courtesy, but in Berlioz’s silken, bejewelled orchestration it positively whirls you off your feet. Brahms, meanwhile, starts his First Piano Quartet with three movements of controlled and mellow emotion, before suddenly cutting loose in the wildest, craziest folk-dance he ever wrote. Arnold Schoenberg loved this piece, and his uproariously entertaining orchestral version doesn’t stint on either colour or panache. You simply have to hear it performed live, and that goes double when regular BBC SSO guest conductor Alexander Vedernikov joins the distinguished German cellist Johannes Moser in Schumann’s Cello Concerto. For Moser, Schumann is “a poet”, whose deeply expressive music speaks to him in “beautiful vowels and consonants”. This underrated concerto comes straight from the heart of one of music’s most ardent spirits – and Moser speaks its language as a native.
The concert will be recorded for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3.