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Beethoven Violin Concerto & Symphony No.4

Sunday May 28, 2023 at 16:00
The Apex, Bury St Edmunds
£35.50, £31.50, £27.50, 23.50; children and students £16.50, £14.50, £12.50
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  1. Coriolan Overture Op 62 - Ludwig van Beethoven
  2. Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Op 61 - Ludwig van Beethoven
  3. Symphony No 4 in B flat Op 60 - Ludwig van Beethoven

Dogged by worsening and devastating hearing loss, in 1806-7 Beethoven began to edge further away from his stylistic predecessors, producing works of extraordinary originality and invention. A fascinating snapshot of that burst of creative activity is provided by the three works in this concert, which have the opus numbers 60, 61 and 62.

Widely regarded today as one of the greatest and finest violin concertos, Beethoven's masterpiece surprises from the outset. It opens with four quiet unaccompanied notes on the timpani alone, and a few bars later brings in the orchestral violins on a note which does not belong to the prevailing key. At its first performance - the only one in Beethoven's lifetime - it appears to have been much enjoyed by the audience while baffling critics with its originality.

The Fourth Symphony, flanked by the mighty Third and earth-shaking Fifth, sometimes seems overshadowed, but no lesser figures than Berlioz, Mendelssohn and Schumann admired it hugely. Indeed, Berlioz thought the slow movement was so transcendent that it must be the work of the Archangel Michael and not a human being.

The Coriolan Overture was first performed, as here, in the same concert as the Fourth Symphony. A close contemporary of Beethoven, the Austrian dramatist Heinrich Joseph von Collin wrote his Coriolan in 1804. Beethoven's overture broadly follows the drama of the Roman general Coriolanus, (perhaps historical, perhaps legendary), with the vigorous main theme said to characterise the general's warlike attributes and the gentler second theme representing the peace-making spirit of his mother.

The soloist in the Violin Concerto, Yume Fujise, studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School, the University of Arts and Music in Vienna, and the Royal College of Music, during which time she won the 2014 and 2018 Violin Competitions and the 2015 and 2017 Concerto Competitions. She has appeared worldwide with some of the most celebrated orchestras as well as live on BBC Radio 3.

"Beethoven 1806-1807" is second of three concerts in the Suffolk Philharmonic's Celebration Sundays series.

The Apex
Charter Square
Bury St Edmunds
IP33 3FD

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