Europe would never be the same again after the French Revolution. Thanks to Beethoven, nor would music.
From the very first years of the nineteenth-century, a new revolutionary spirit burst into Beethoven’s music and was most evident in his ‘heroic’ Symphony No. 3, dedicated to Napoleon. The propulsive energy of Beethoven’s dynamic and compelling symphony left audiences and critics dumbfounded. Over two hundred years later, you can still hear why.
Not much music can stand tall alongside Beethoven’s, but that of Hungarian composer György Ligeti certainly can. Like Beethoven, Ligeti reinvented the concept of orchestral sound with music that seems born of another universe and appears to operate to all its own rules. His Violin Concerto is a work of shimmering beauty and volatile danger, complete with an extraordinarily virtuosic cadenza.
Augustin Hadelich made an award-winning recording of the work in 2019, and joins Edward Gardner for a season opening that launches with the wailing ecstasy of Lasse Thoresen’s Norwegian classic, Emergence.