News - 02 Apr 2024

Matthias Bamert, the conductor for the 'Beethoven, Brahms and Strauss' concert

I am very much looking forward to returning to Dunedin. During my five years as Principal Guest Conductor of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, I visited Dunedin regularly and I have fond memories of a very attractive town in a beautiful surrounding.

The process of putting the programme for the concert of April 20 together has been typical as it is a combination of different suggestions: from the orchestra, from the soloist, from the Principal Guest Conductor James Judd and me.

The main work on the programme is the third symphony by Johannes Brahms. This music reminds us of the third symphony by his older friend Robert Schumann, the Rhenish Symphony (which DSO performed in December last year). Brahms composed his third symphony in Wiesbaden which is on the Rhine River. The powerful first movement must have gotten its inspiration from the wide flowing water masses. The second movement is very lyrical and the melody is played by the clarinet. In the Romantic period, the third movement of a symphony was usually a Scherzo, a very fast movement. Instead, Brahms composed a beautiful singing poco Allegretto. The last movement is as also atypical for the period: it does not end with a big climax, but, unusually, the symphony ends very softly.

The rest of the programme consists of three shorter works. The concert starts with the Overture to the Ballet The Creatures of Prometheus by Ludwig van Beethoven. The young soloist Samuel Jacobs has chosen the first Horn Concerto that Richard Strauss composed when he was just eighteen years old. The concert ends with the first Hungarian Dance again by Brahms, a bit like an Encore.

I am really looking forward to conducting and making music with the musicians of the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra!

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