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BBC NOW - Dvorak, Beethoven, Brahms

Christoph Konig conducts the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Dvorak: Overture (Othello). Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 3 in C minor (soloist: Lara Melda). Brahms: Symphony No 4.

From Brangwyn Hall, Swansea

Presented by Nicola Heywood Thomas

Dvorak's Othello is the last of a set of three overtures that he entitled Nature, Life and Love. Though the composer clearly intended it to illustrate specific moments in the Shakespeare play from which it derives its name, in fact it is just as easy to hear as a piece of abstract music, the composer's ear for orchestral sonorities everywhere apparent.

The winner of the 2010 BBC Young Musician, pianist Lara Melda, joins the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in Beethoven's dramatic C minor Concerto.

Brahms' final symphony caused him more than a little self-doubt, especially in the wake of the serene Third Symphony. His misgivings were to some extent borne out by the initial reaction, one commentator observing that it was akin to 'being thrashed by two terribly clever men'. This symphony broke the mould in many respects, not least in the way that the finale is based on the archaic form of the passacaglia, but it soon became a staple of the repertoire and today is regarded as among the greatest of Brahms's achievements.

Dvorak: Overture 'Othello'
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor
Brahms: Symphony No.4 in E minor

Lara Melda (piano)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Christoph Konig (conductor).

2 hours