Hong Kong-born conductor Elim Chan heads the Konzerthausorchester Berlin with three Romantic audience favourites. Hector Berlioz was a fan of the eccentric poet Lord Byron and renamed an overture in honour of his poem “Le Corsaire”. For Robert Schumann’s only piano concerto, the Swiss Francesco Piemontesi takes his seat at the piano. Some of Schumann’s colleagues, including Franz Liszt, did not take a liking to it, but audiences loved this first important Romantic piano concerto from the very start – something that has not changed over time.
To wrap things up, the famous “Scheherazade Suite” by Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov can be heard. The colourful instrumentation ensures that all the musicians come to the fore with wonderful passages – from the delicate and flowery tones of the fanciful princess by the principal violin to cello cantilenas and a melancholy solo bassoon to powerful brass interjections. But apart from the names of the movements, populated by Sinbad, Prince Kalandar, a pair of lovers, a feast and a shipwreck, Rimsky-Korsakov simply wanted “to steer the listener’s imagination towards where my own imagination had gone while composing. Flushing out the details is ultimately left to the imaginative power and mood of each individual listener.”
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