Thursday 2 April 19:30
Beethoven 250 – Christ on the Mount of Olives
Friday 3 April 19:30
In 1802, Ludwig van Beethoven wrote to his brothers, despairing at his increasing deafness and its effect on his abilities to write and perform music. It was a desperate cry of anguish from Beethoven, who began work on a new oratorio in the days that followed.
Christ on the Mount of Olives projects Beethoven’s own emotional turmoil onto that of Christ’s last hours on earth before crucifixion. It is a powerful, dramatic and intense work in which Beethoven is unflinching in the face of emotional and physical distress.
But it is also work of strange beauty, clear humanity and compelling drama. Fabio Biondi conducts this choral and orchestral rarity with a cast including the young Norwegian soprano Caroline Wettergreen, and precedes Beethoven’s score with influential orchestral works by Mozart and Haydn that came before it.