The Piano Concerto in A minor by the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg is one of the most loved works in the repertoire, and when it is played by one of the most exciting young pianists of his generation, there is all the more reason to make this a date in the 2018 diary.
Grosvenor will be joining the prestigious orchestra of the opera house of La Scala, Milan – the Filarmonica della Scala – in a work of drama and passion that is ideally suited to these players.
Opening the programme is an operatic overture, of course: the witty and picturesque overture to Rossini’s opera La Gazza Ladra (The Thieving Magpie). Then Grosvenor plays the Grieg, distinctive for its familiar, descending opening chords and packed with beautiful, atmospheric melodies for soloist and orchestral players alike. It was the only piano concerto that Grieg completed; a second was begun, and several composers have essayed completed versions, working from Grieg’s sketches.
In the second half, the orchestra plays Tchaikovsky’s autobiographical Symphony No 4. First performed 10 years after the piano concerto, in 1878, the fourth of the composer’s six symphonies is nicknamed Fate, a reference to its big themes packed with foreboding. Look out for the strings playing only pizzicato (plucked) in the light-as-air third movement. In the fourth and final movement Tchaikovsky weaves in the Russian folk song In the Field Stood a Birch Tree.
Packed with great tunes and exciting orchestrations, this is a great programme to introduce younger listeners to the thrill of live classical music. Or book now to fulfil that new year’s resolution to go to more classical music concerts.
WHERE: Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS.
WHEN On 24 Jan 18, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM.