Lancashire Chamber Orchestra
Kenneth Woods- principal conductor
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Altrincham Grammar School for Girls
Mozart- Overture to “The Impressario” (“Der Schauspieldirektor”)
Gal- Violin Concerto op 39 (UK PREMIERE)
Annette-Barbara Vogel, violin
Mozart- Symphony no. 40 in G minor
The LCO has come a long way in the last few years, and this is concert is not-to-be-missed. Since moving to Altrincham Grammar School, most of our concerts have been capacity audiences, so it’s worth booking in advance.
I’ve really enjoyed working on the great Mozart G minor, which may be my favorite Mozart of all (it sure is this week), and the orchestra excels in that kind of classical repertoire. However, the real highlight promises to be a rare performance of Hans Gal’s magnificent Violin Concerto, op 39.
(Kulenkamp and Busch in rehearsal for the premiere of the violin concerto in 1933. photo from hansgal.com)
Premiered in 1933 by violinist Georg Kulenkamp (who also premiered the Schumann Violin Concerto, the last fiddle concerto I conducted before this one- don’t you love these wacky coincidences), it’s a heart-stoppingly beautiful piece, full of the kind of sensuous longing and poetic tenderness you’d expect in late Strauss or the very best of Korngold, but it is also a formidable virtuoso work with several punishing cadenzas for the soloist along the way.
I’ve always been interested in music of this period, and have become particularly interested in Hans Gal’s music over the last few years. After years of study, planning and discussion, it’s going to be a joy to finally play this piece, with more Gal to come soon.
Have a quick listen to the opening of this wonderful piece, from an Austrian Radio broadcast in 2004, which at the time was only the 2nd known performance of the work.
UPDATE- I should have mentioned that this is the UK premiere of the Gal Violin Concerto, which is kind of sad considering he spent half of his life living and working in this country. Happily, his daugher Eva will be present for the occasion!