The Road to Romanticism

The Road to Romanticism


Mendelssohn – ‘Hebrides’ Overture & Violin Concerto
Haydn – Symphony No.93
Violin Bojan Čičić, Director Edward Higginbottom

What have Haydn and Mendelssohn in common?  One feature we can point to is the easy and productive relationship both enjoyed with their audiences.  When, in the 1790s, Haydn’s late symphonies were performed in London, the sense of mutual satisfaction – audience and composer – was striking.  And the immediate success of Mendelssohn’s violin concerto at its first performance at the Leipzig Gewandhaus in 1845 was no less a source of great satisfaction for all parties.  These qualities of uncommonly wonderful music accessible to all have not been diminished with time, as the Autumn appearance of Instruments of Time and Truth in Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre will reveal.  Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, which opens the programme, is another masterpiece accessible to all, built on fastidious craft and calculation but with imagination totally unfettered. Here is also a world of deep familiarity.  Donald Tovey summed it up brilliantly when he wrote of the violin concerto “I rather envy the enjoyment of anyone who should hear the Mendelssohn concerto for the first time and find that, like Hamlet, it was full of quotations”.  Come and remind yourselves of those quotations! Supported by Copernicus and DustScan.

Duration: 1:45 with interval

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