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Overview: Making a welcome return to Kendal, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic offers a Beethoven concert aria from 1796 ‘Ah! Perfido’ (Ah! Deceiver), a once lost Haydn Cello Concerto written in the 1760’s but only rediscovered in 1961 in Prague and Mahler’s ‘most gentle of symphonies’. No huge orchestra, and little if any turmoil as the first movement begins with the jingling of sleigh bells. The fourth and final movement eventually fades into silence but only after a soprano voice has sung at length, of an innocent child’s view of heaven.
Vasily Petrenko conducts the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic tonight
BEETHOVEN: Ah! Perfido, op. 65
Haydn: Cello Concerto in C
MAHLER: Symphony No. 4
This is sure to be a very popular concert as we welcome back the magnificent Royal Liverpool Philharmonic to lakeland, with their accomplished young Russian chief conductor Vasily Petrenko. In 2007 he won the prestigious Gramophone Awards Young Artist of the Year, and ten years on in 2017 he was awarded Artist of the Year. Equally at home in both opera house and concert hall, he leads tonight’s programme of choral and cello masterpieces.
We begin with a choral work sung by celebrated German soprano Susanne Bernhard, who has performed in many top opera houses and concert halls internationally, and has many TV and radio performances to her credit.
Tonight she sings Beethoven’s (1770-1827) early Ah! Perfido aria for soprano and orchestra, which was first performed in 1796 by a friend of Mozart’s. The title translates as “Ah! Deceiver”, and is based on the furious yet compassionate feelings that the abandoned Daedamia had for Achilles…..dramatic stuff upon which to end the season
Our other soloist for the night is 25 year old Russian cellist Anastasia Kobekina, who has been playing since she was 4 years old. She often plays a cello made as recently as 2012 by Stephan von Baehr, as well as much older instruments. She has won many prizes and will demonstrate the many facets of the cello with her rendition of Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C. Haydn (1732-1809) composed this work between 1761-65 as a challenge to tempt and help retain the best cellists in his orchestra.
The grand finale of our season is Gustav Mahler’s (1860-1911) Symphony No:4 in G Major. Mahler is famous for his massive orchestral works, however this symphony is often recommended as an entry point into Mahler’s major works. Composed in 1901 it has been described by Classic FM as “first and foremost an ebullient, colourful symphony, full of expressive orchestral detail and glorious melody.” Mahler sketched out the symphony during a 10 day break from his busy day job, and had finished it by a year later. It is one of his three ‘Wunderhorn’ symphonies based around German folk song themes. Susanne Bernhard will sing for us again, since the symphony includes a song written in 1892 about a child’s vision of heaven.