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Starts at 8:00 pm on Saturday, 28 April 2012
Violinist Pinchas Zukerman and conductor James Judd, along with the NZSO, discuss and illustrate Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D. This is followed by a complete performance of the work, preceded by Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No 3.
In December 1806, Johann Nepomuk Möser attended a benefit concert as a critic for the Viennese newspaper Wiener Theaterzeitung. He wrote that the orchestra at the Theater an der Wien, played, besides other beautiful pieces, a violin concerto by Beethoven, which, on account of its originality and many beautiful parts was received with exceptional applause.”
But Möser went on to note that the “experts” were unanimous in their criticism of the work, claiming it “often seemed confused and that the unending repetitions of certain commonplace events could easily prove wearisome.”
It’s still hard to imagine how the critics back then got it so wrong and why there was only one other documented performance during Beethoven’s life. Beethoven himself may have felt that the work had no future, as he made a version for piano and orchestra soon after the première.
To be fair, Beethoven who had been working at tremendous speed in the latter half of 1806, only delivered the score at the last minute, leaving little, if any, time for rehearsal. He had finally completed the first version of his opera Fidelio and then in quick succession composed the Fourth Symphony, Fourth Piano Concerto, the three Razumovsky string quartets, the Violin Concerto and one or two other things before the end of the year.
(Source: NZSO Programme Notes)
This concert was recorded in the Auckland Town Hall by Radio New Zealand Concert
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