RTÉ NSO: Haydn, Beethoven & Mendelssohn – Nathalie Stutzmann, conductor / Christian Ihle Hadland, piano
RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
Nathalie Stutzmann conductor
Christian Ihle Hadland piano
Haydn Symphony No. 94, ‘Surprise’ / 23’
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1 / 36’
Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4, ‘Italian’ / 27’
Boo! Enjoy surprises? Feel a bit short-changed by how few jokes there are in classical music? Then you’ve got a treat in store with Haydn’s 94th Symphony – and no, the surprise isn’t that he wrote so many; a dozen more followed this one! And don’t ask: the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra is not going to spoil the surprise for you (although you might want to pay particular attention to the second movement). Fizzing with colour and vitality, it’s a work of meringue-liked delicacy – crunchy on the outside, soft and gooey inside – and every bit as tasty.
Even a notorious grouch like Beethoven liked to laugh. No, really. His First Piano Concerto is a boisterous affair altogether, the orchestra as busy as bees happily making honey until the piano, intent on mischief, makes its presence felt. A delightful chase between the two around the sunniest of gardens follows. Or at least that’s what it sounds like to us. Light, frothy and fun: prepare to be charmed out of your seats. Young Norwegian Christian Ihle Hadland takes the solo seat and he is ‘as good as it gets’ (The Independent).
Ever been to another country and found yourself falling in love with it? You’re not alone. Mendelssohn was so smitten by Italy (what’s not to like?) that he wrote a symphony in exuberant tribute. Bask in Mediterranean warmth, a kaleidoscope of luxurious colours, moments of high drama (terribly passionate the Italians) and indulge yourself in the sheer beauty and brio of it all. Prego!
Presented by RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
Published on 30 December 2018