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symphonic concert


Wagner, Brahms
Enter a dreamlike musical world in this programme featuring Wagner’s surreal Prélude to Lohengrin, followed by Brahms’s Double Concerto for Violin and Cello, with classical music icons Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis uniting as one eight-stringed instrument.

Prelude to Lohengrin

Double Concerto in A minor Op. 102

Wagner’s opera Lohengrin premiered in 1850, conducted by Liszt. Its prelude is a ravishing depiction of the Holy Grail descending from heaven to earth, then reascending, structured as one long orchestral crescendo and decrescendo built on a single theme. It opens with divided high-register violins, plus an ethereal solo violin quartet in harmonics, and flute. The rest of the orchestra enters gradually, and it’s only for a brief period at the very centre, marked by two cymbal clashes, that everyone plays. The final chord is from the violin quartet alone. Brahms’s Double Concerto of 1887 was a gesture of reconciliation to Joseph Joachim, dedicatee of his Violin Concerto, following a rift in their friendship. Consisting of a passionate Allegro, a dignified and touching Andante, and a folky Rondo finale, it’s a beautiful fusion of dark colourings and delicate textures, with its parts lovingly, equally balanced.

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