Monday, April 13, 2009

Swensen conducts Schubert’s ‘Death and the Maiden’ and Schumann Violin Concerto

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s Conductor Emeritus, Joseph Swensen, is joined by violinist Ilya Gringolts for Schumann’s Violin Concerto in Dumfries (Easterbrook Hall, 22 April), St Andrews (Younger Hall, 23 April), Glasgow (City Halls, 24 April) and Edinburgh (Queen’s Hall, 25 April). The programme also includes Schubert’s Quartet in D minor ‘Death and the Maiden’ arranged by Mahler, and Schumann’s Overture, Scherzo and Finale.

Winner of the 1998 International Violin Competition ‘Premio Paganini’, Ilya Gringolts was also awarded two special prizes for the youngest ever competitor to be placed in the final and the best interpreter of Paganini’s Caprices. Ilya has a strong connection with Scotland, having recently been appointed Violin International Fellow at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

Ilya performs Schumann’s Violin Concerto in D minor, which was written in 1853 for violinist Joseph Joachim. After trying it out in rehearsal, Joachim decided that it didn’t show Schumann at his best. The concerto remained unpublished in Schumann’s lifetime, but was left to Joachim’s son Johannes, who gave it to the Prussian State Library in Berlin on the condition that it was not to be published until a hundred years after Schumann’s death. However, Hungarian violinist Jelly d’Aranyi (a great-niece of Joachim) campaigned in the 1930s for it to be published, and the premiere took place in November 1937.

Mahler’s late-Romantic orchestration of Schubert’s Quartet in D minor is arranged for string orchestra. Mahler brings out the darkness of Schubert’s string quartet, without changing a single note.

Joseph Swensen most recently conducted the SCO in the world premiere of his new symphony for horn and orchestra, ‘The Fire and the Rose’.

Tickets
Dumfries (£16 reserved seating, £11 unreserved seating; concessions available)
Dumfries and Galloway Arts Association 01387 253383

St Andrews (£9-£19, concessions available)
Byre Theatre Box Office 01334 475000

Edinburgh (£8-£26, concessions available)
Queen’s Hall Box Office 0131 668 2019

Glasgow (£11-£24, concessions available)
Glasgow’s Concert Halls Box Office 0141 353 8000

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