BSO Concertmaster Jonathan Carney will perform Bruch’s Second Violin Concerto
Young German conductor Cornelius Meister makes his Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) debut leading the BSO in Brahms’ Second Symphony on Thursday, April 28 at 8 p.m. and Friday, April 29 at 8 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Saturday, April 30 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. Also on the program will be Mahler’s arrangement of Smetana’s The Bartered Bride Overture and Bruch’s rarely heard Second Violin Concerto, featuring BSO Concertmaster Jonathan Carney.
Johannes Brahms composed his ebullient and tender Second Symphony at the peak of his career. Brahms began work on his second symphony in the summer of 1877, while on vacation in a country retreat in Pörtschach, and later premiered the symphony in Vienna in December of the same year. Making his debut performance, the BSO welcomes young German conductor Cornelius Meister, who also holds the post of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Max Bruch had a particular affection for the violin, though he himself did not play the instrument, remarking that the violin “can sing a melody better than the piano, and melody is the soul of music.” Bruch partnered with Spanish virtuoso Pablo Sarasate for the performance of his best-known work, his First Violin Concerto. Impressed by the singing quality of the Spaniard’s tone, he composed his Second Violin Concerto for Sarasate in 1878. This relatively unknown work’s unusual form stems from the composer’s efforts to program the work on the Carlist War in Spain, at Sarasate’s suggestion.