This week marks the birth of the celebrated 20th-century Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, one of his recordings with Eugene Ormandy and The Philadelphia Orchestra motivated one of today’s leading concert soloists, Johannes Moser, to pursue his career.
Yannick speaks with WRTI's Jim Cotter about the program.
Sunday, February 23rd at 2 pm, Yannick Nezet-Seguin leads the Philadelphia Orchestra LIVE from Verizon Hall on WRTI, in a program culminating in Beethoven's monumental Symphony No. 3, “Eroica,” originally intended as a grand and heroic tribute to Napoleon. Upon learning, however, that Napoleon had crowned himself Emperor of all Europe, Beethoven scratched out the dedication with such vigor that he tore through the paper. This is music that succeeds in creating a new architecture for the symphonic form, and it supplied ignition for the Romantic style in music.
Also on the program, Richard Strauss's Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings, which opens with a haunting rhythm clearly quoting the funeral march of Beethoven’s “Eroica.” The intensity and pathos is that of a mature composer, nearing the end of his career, who has witnessed the World War II destruction of Europe, and stands in stark contrast to compositions of the younger Strauss we've heard in earlier broadcasts this season.
Filling out the program is Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1, written for the great cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and given its U.S. premiere (and first recording) by him with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Eugene Ormandy in 1959. Our soloist is German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser, a young virtuoso, who is graciously filling in for cellist Truls Mork. Mork has withdrawn from his appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra on February 20 - 23 because of a skiing accident. (He is expected to make a full recovery!) Moser will perform this fiendish concerto, which, like the 10th and 11th symphonies heard elsewhere in the season, was written following the death of Stalin, and marks a return to greater creative freedom for Shostakovich.
Here's Johannes Moser performing in 2011. During intermission, WRTI's Susan Lewis will speak with the young cellist, who made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Philadelphians on Friday night.
This Sunday at 1 pm, it's a Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert archival broadcast celebrating the legacy of the Orchestra’s late conductor laureate, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and featuring Norwegian cellist Truls Mork.
In this concert, recorded in 2002 at Verizon Hall, Mork will play the Schumann Cello Concerto in A minor. Also on the program, the Manfred Overture, and the Symphony No. 4 – all Schumann, and conducted by Maestro Sawallisch in memorable performances just a few years before his last appearance with the Philadelphians.