Conductor Christoph König makes his BSO debut leading Beethoven's Seventh on Thursday, March 7 and Friday, March 8 at 8 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, and Saturday, March 9 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. Beethoven's magnificent Symphony No. 7, bursting with energy and pulsing with rhythm, is a performance not to be missed. Also on the program is Strauss' breathtaking Oboe Concerto, to be performed by BSO Principal Oboist Katherine Needleman, and Debussy's enchanting Petite Suite. Editor's Note: This press release serves as a reminder of the previously announced program change. Please see below for complete program details.
In a piece that Wagner famously called "the apotheosis of dance," Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 is so richly abundant in unbridled energy, rhythm and life, no dancer would dare to match the power or pace of its music. Since its very first premiere in 1813, the most successful of Beethoven's illustrious career, the Seventh has electrified audiences around the world with its larger than life orchestral presence and fervent use of rhythms. As Beethoven's biographer Maynard Soloman wrote, the piece "transports us into a sphere of laughter, play, and the exuberant release of bound energy." The Seventh Symphony is also reflective of Beethoven's personal character. In the summer of 1812, just after Beethoven completed the Seventh Symphony, he was introduced to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who upon meeting Beethoven remarked that, "his talent amazed me; unfortunately, he is an utterly untamed personality." The Seventh, however, capitalizes on Beethoven's famous eccentricity and boldness, with the piece defiantly breaking through musical boundaries with limitless energy, color and joy.
The program also features Richard Strauss' Oboe Concerto. Strauss wrote the piece in 1945, and was inspired to do so when a visiting soldier, who was also the principal oboist of the Pittsburgh Symphony, inquired as to why Strauss had never composed a concerto for oboe. The remark sparked Strauss' interest and grew into one of the greatest works ever written for the plangent-toned oboe. The piece is notoriously demanding of the musician. The work pushes the musician's breath and stamina to the very edge, but will be adeptly handled by the BSO's Principal Oboist Katherine Needleman.
Also on the program is Debussy's Petite Suite. The Petite Suite follows the traditional pattern of a suite by organizing itself around a sequence of dance movements, and does so gracefully in four brief, but lovely movements.