Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 was written under the darkest of clouds. The composer's ill-judged and short-lived marriage to the troubled Antonia Milyikova (who had initially threatened suicide if he refused her) had recently imploded, leaving Tchaikovsky himself in nihilistic frame. Leaving Russia to seek solace in travel and work, he completed his Fourth Symphony, a work that expressed a self confessed 'escape from reality'. From the sombre Fate motif that colours its first movement, to its ebullient folk-dance finale, it echoes the emotional fall-out and cathartic release from the greyest of winters.
Beethoven - himself no stranger to turbulence and torment - premiered his Violin Concerto in 1806. It was performed by Franz Clement - principal violinist and conductor at the Theater an der Wien - with a few 'embellishments' of his own between movements including a showman-like one-string sonata played with the violin upside down! Here it is performed with less overt theatrics but 'impressive authority and presence' (The Strad) by multi prizewinning Belgian prodigy Yossif Ivanov (pictured).
02 May 2010 3:00pm
Vladimir Jurowski conductor
Yossif Ivanov violin
Wagner Faust Overture
Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36