Thursday 26 October
Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto
RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
Tickets: €26 (€24 conc.)BOOK NOW
Irish Rhapsody No. 1 / 12’
Cello Concerto No. 1 / 19’
Symphony No. 2 (Asrael) / 58’
From rhapsody to remembrance, a concert that, with Stanford’s First Irish Rhapsody, begins in the lush green pastures of Irish mythology when giants and heroes roamed the country, and ends, with Suk’s ‘Asrael’ symphony, in the passionate, painful turmoil of those left behind after the death of loved ones. The ‘awesome talent’ (The Independent) of cellist Richard Harwood joins the ‘impressive figure’ (Las Vegas Review-Journal) of the New York Philharmonic’s former associate conductor Case Scaglione in the brilliant dialogue between solo instrument and orchestra that is Saint-Saëns’s First Cello Concerto.
The First of Stanford’s six Irish Rhapsodies delves deep and eloquently into Ireland’s legendary past to conjure episodes in the life of the handsome and brave Cúchulainn and his beautiful wife, Emer, the queen of Ulster. A brace of traditional tunes – Leatherbags Donnell and the Derry Air – form the foundation for a ravishingly romantic and dramatic orchestral showpiece.
The premiere of Saint-Saëns’s First Cello Concerto changed previously sceptical public opinion about the young, modern-leaning, Wagner-influenced composer. Compact and condensed into a single-movement, it also pitched cello and orchestra as equals resulting in one of best-loved concertos of the 19th century. Lean and lyrical, it is a work of subtle but telling intricacy and an essential work in the cellist’s repertoire.
Josef Suk’s Second Symphony takes its subtitle – Asrael – from the Islamic angel of death who carries souls into the afterlife. Initially intended as a tribute to Suk’s teacher and father-in-law, the composer Antonín Dvořák, it became a dual homage following the death of Suk’s wife in the midst of its composition. It carries itself with all the funereal gravity of Mahler at his most lachrymose and the rich fervent orchestration of Richard Strauss.
University Concert Hall, Limerick
University of Limerick, IrelandOpen Larger Map