Brahms himself was the soloist in the first performance of his Piano Concerto No. 1. He then handed the role to his beloved friend Clara Schumann, who admired ‘its greatness of conception and the tenderness of its melodies’.
Tonight it is in the hands of Leif Ove Andsnes, renowned for his understated artistry and lyrical, poetic playing.
Understated is certainly not the word for Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life), with Strauss himself in the title role.
Buoyant horns introduce the protagonist, ‘horns being quite the thing to express heroism’, as Strauss wrote to a friend from the mountain resort where he was composing.
A solo violin, alternately tender and capricious, represents his wife, and in a ‘battle’ passage he tussles with his critics. By the end, the hero and his music have found a sense of peace and fulfilment.
RepertoireBrahms: Piano Concerto No.1
Book multiple Philharmonia Orchestra events in the same transaction and receive a discount.
3 – 5 events (10% discount)
6 – 8 events (15% discount)
9 – 11 events (20% discount)
12 – 14 events (25% discount)
15 or more events (30% discount)
These discounts are not available on Premium seats or for the following concerts: Moscow Nights (25 Oct 2018), Philharmonia Orchestra – Christmas with King's College Choir (13 Dec 2018), Philharmonia Orchestra – Christmas at the Movies (16 Dec 2018), Philharmonia at the Movies (14 Feb 2019) and Music of Today: Wu Wei Artist Portrait (5 Apr 2019).