Repertoire Report- Christoph Eschenbach 2008

Peter from Houston rembers former HSO Music Director Christoph Eschenbach fondly for what he calls “many years of transformative and inspiring leadership,” so he’s processed Eschenbach’s 2008 repertoire as it appears on his website here. Thanks Peter!

At over 103 pieces (the exact program of his Advent Concert is not listed), it’s quite a list, and a very interesting one. Eschenbach’s schedule is truly awe-inspiring- tons of concerts all over the world. In the course of the year, he seems to be re-visiting a few pieces very frequently, notably Dvorak 9 and Bruckner 6, but several others as well. Unlike Leonard and Paavo, Eschenbach is also active as an instrumentalist as well, primarily in chamber music and song.

There are several premieres and new pieces, including a lot of Higdon (Jennifer is based in Philly and has a special relationship with the Philadelphia Orchestra, so that is unsurprising), but on the whole, his looks like the most “mainstream” of the lists we’ve examined so far. More emphasis on standard rep tends to mean more pieces in common with other conductors, and sure enough, I’ve conducted a higher proportion of pieces on Eschenbach’s list than on Jarvi, Slatkin or Bychkov’s.

However, it’s interesting to note what he’s not doing much of- only one Beethoven symphony all year (the 6th), and no Mozart or Haydn symphonies at all. He’s also doing the least Rachmaninoff of anyone on the list this year, just excerpts (!) from the Paganini Fantasy. There’s almost no English music, except for the Britten Violin Concerto which seems to be emerging this year as a standard repertoire piece, and no Sibelius symphonies or tone poems.

I hope more readers will help us keep this project going. Conductor Ian Mclarty has submitted his own list here– more lists from young and aspiring conductors, staff conductors, academic conductors and regional conductors would make a great counterbalance to the rep lists we’ve already posted.

Christoph Eschenbach Repertoire 2008-

1- Advent Concert- featuring works by J.S. Bach, W.A. Mozart and F. Schubert
2- BACH Magnificat
3- BARTOK Piano Concerto No. 3
4- BEETHOVEN Egmont Overture
5- BEETHOVEN Quintet for Piano and Winds
6- BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 1
7- BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 5
8- BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral”
9- BEETHOVEN Missa Solemnis
10- BERLIOZ Overture to Carnaval romain
11- BERLIOZ Les Nuits d’Été
12- BERLIOZ “A Ball,” from Symphonie fantastique
13- BERNSTEIN Overture to Candide
14- BERNSTEIN Jeremiah (Symphony No. 1)
15- BERNSTEIN Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
16- BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 1
17- BRAHMS Sonata for Two Pianos
18- BRAHMS Lieder und Gesänge Op. 32
19- BRAHMS Vier ernste Gesänge Op. 121
20- BRAHMS Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn
21- BRAHMS Double Concerto
22- BRAHMS Symphony No. 2
23- BRAHMS Symphony No. 1
24- BRITTEN Violin Concerto
25- BRUCKNER Mass No. 2 in E minor
26- BRUCKNER Ave Maria
27- BRUCKNER Symphony No. 6
28- BRUCKNER Symphony No. 7
29- BRUCKNER Symphony No. 9
30- DALBAVIE La Source d’un regard – US première (PO co-commission)
31- DEBUSSY La Mer
32- DONIZETTI Excerpt from Act II, Scene 2, of The Elixir of Love
33- DVORAK Carnival Overture
34- DVORAK Quintet for Piano and Strings
35- DVORAK Cello Concerto
36- DVORAK Symphony No. 7
37- DVORAK Symphony No. 8
38- DVORAK Sympony No. 9 (“From the New World”)
39- ESCAICH Organ Concerto
40- GRIEG Piano Concerto
41- HIGDON The Singing Rooms for violin, chorus, and orchestra – world première (PO commission)
42- HIGDON Concerto 4-3 for string trio and orchestra – world première (PO commission)
43- HINDEMITH Klaviermusik mit Orchester for piano (left hand) and orchestra
44- HINDEMITH Viola Concerto (“Der Schwanendreher”)
45- JOEL/orch. Ellis Waltz No. 2 (Steinway Hall)
46- JOEL/arr. and orch. ELLIS A selection of Mr. Joel’s popular works
47- IVES Three quarter-tone pieces
48- MAHLER Des Knaben Wunderhorn
49- MAHLER Rückert Lieder
50- MAHLER Symphony No. 1
51- MAHLER Symphony No. 3
52- MAHLER Symphony No. 6
53- MAHLER Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand”)
54- MAHLER Das Lied von der Erde
55- MESSIAEN Les Offrandes oubliées
56- MESSIAEN Turangalîla-Symphonie
57- MOZART Ave Verum Corpus
58- MOZART Sinfonia Concertante
59- MUSSORGSKY Songs and Dances of Death (arr. Shostakovich)
60- PINTSCHER Hérodiade-Fragmente
61- PUCCINI “O mio babbino caro,” from Gianni Schicchi
62- PROKOFIEV Symphony No. 5
63- RACHMANINOV Excerpt from Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
64- RAVEL Shéhérazade
65- RAVEL Ma Mère l’Oye
66- RAVEL La Valse
67- RAVEL Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No. 2
68- RAVEL Boléro
69- SAARIAHO Mirage for soprano, cello and orchestra – world première (Orchestre de Paris co-commission)
70- SAARIAHO Cello Concerto (“Notes on light”)
71- SAARIAHO Orion
72- SCHUBERT Piano Quintet (“Trout”)
73- SCHOENBERG Chamber Symphony (quintet version)
74- SCHUBERT Fantasy in F minor
75- SCHUBERT Symphony in B minor (“Unfinished”)
76- SCHUBERT Symphony in C major (“Great”)
77- SCHULLER Seven Studies on Themes of Paul Klee
78- SCHUMANN Die Braut von Messina
79- SCHUMANN Konzertstück for four horns and orchestra
80- SCHUMANN/transcr. Debussy Six Etudes en forme de canon
81- SCHUMANN 3 songs on poems by Heinrich Heine
82- SCHUMANN Liederkreis Op. 24
83- SCHUMANN Frauenliebe und –leben
84- SCHUMANN Kinderszenen
85- SCHUMANN Symphony No. 2
86- SHOSTAKOVICH Violin Concerto No. 1
87- SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 5
88- SIBELIUS Violin Concerto
89- SMETANA The Bartered Bride
90- R. STRAUSS Till Eulenspiegel
91- STRAVINSKY L’Histoire du soldat
92- STRAVINSKY Le Sacre du printemps
93- STRAVINSKY Pulcinella
94- TCHAIKOVSKY Rococo Variations for cello and orchestra
95- TCHAIKOVSKY Romeo and Juliet
96- TCHAIKOVSKY Francesca da Rimini
97- TCHAIKOVSKY Violin Concerto
98- TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 4
99- TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5
100- TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6 “Pathétique”
101- TRADITIONAL Yellow River Concerto
102- VARIOUS/arr. Turlik/orch. O’Loughlin Etude for PVC Pipes and Orchestra (Some Assembly Required)
103- ZEMLINSKY Lyric Symphony

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

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2 comments on “Repertoire Report- Christoph Eschenbach 2008”

  1. Zoltan

    That excerpt might be the 18th variation, but what for? Some special concert? It’s a very beautiful piece of music no doubt, but it’s even more engaging if one knows (and hears) that the famous theme is nothing else but Paganini’s theme upside down! And what humour Rach had when he made the first music heard in the piece the first variation, rather than the theme!

  2. Kenneth Woods

    It was indeed for a special concert- an anniversary celebration of the Academy of Music (the orchestra’s former home). Not sure what bits they used, but your guess seems reasonable (some do from there to the end).

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