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Juraj Valcuha and Nikolaj Znaider with the Violin Concerto by Jean Sibelius

08/10/2011

Berliner Philharmoniker
Juraj Valcuha

Nikolaj Znaider

  • Carl Maria von Weber
    Euryanthe Overture (00:11:01)

  • Jean Sibelius
    Violin Concerto in D minor (00:39:38)

    Nikolaj Znaider Violin

  • Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Symphony No. 1 in G minor »Winter Daydreams« (00:50:25)

  • free

    Nikolaj Znaider in conversation with Amihai Grosz (00:15:11)

“A violinist of real substance,” was how Gramophone magazine described Nikolaj Znaider – a musician “who is not afraid to go his own way and say something different. There is an ardour to his playing that makes a refreshing change from the ‘safe’ performances delivered by some young virtuosos.” Znaider now makes a guest appearance with the Berliner Philharmoniker with the Violin Concerto by Jean Sibelius. He will be playing his precious violin: the legendary “Guarneri del Gesù” once owned by Fritz Kreisler. 

Instead of Bernard Haitink who is unfortunately ill, the young Slovak Juraj Valcuha will step up to the conductor’s desk in the Philharmonie for the first time. This season, he will be making several more debuts, including with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. In addition to Sibelius’s Violin Concerto, the musicians will also perform Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s First Symphony and Carl Maria von Weber’s Overture to the opera Euryanthe: two works that are not often heard in the concert hall, although they are both prime examples of the verve and colour we associate with Romantic music.

Jean Sibelius still breathed life into Romanticism well into the 20th century, when his fellow composers had long since started looking for new sound worlds. His Violin Concerto also captivates with its dark coloration, folk flavour and impressive virtuosity. Perhaps the reason why the concerto conveys more than mere surface gloss is the fact that Sibelius was an excellent violinist himself, and knew how to elicit the finest nuances of expression from the instrument.

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