WSS Early Spring Season 2023 – Concert 3

7th September 2023, 7pm Playhouse Opera Theatre

Conductor: Daniel Boico
Soloist: Etsuko Hirose, Piano

Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1, Op. 25 in D Major, “Classical”
Schumann: Piano Concerto, Op. 54 in a minor
Beethoven: Symphony No. 2, Op. 36 in D Major

The third and final concert of the season sees the popular return of Daniel Boico to the podium for a programme of concert staples by Prokofiev, Schumann, and Beethoven. Prokofiev began work on his first symphony in 1916 and completed it the following year. Envisaged as a modern reinterpretation of the classical style of Haydn and Mozart, it was nicknamed by the composer, who premièred it on April 18, 1918, in Petrograd. It has remained one of his most popular works. The influence of Mozart is apparent in the light, airy scoring, and the fast-paced bustle of the outer movements – but it does deviate from this influence in certain distinctive ways where Prokofiev’s own style is clearly noticeable.

The widely admired Japanese pianist Etsuko Hirose moves into the solo spot as the evening’s soloist in Robert Schumann’s a minor Piano Concerto as the evening’s centrepiece. Completed in 1845, its Dresden première took place in December that year with the composer’s wife, Clara, as soloist, and the work’s dedicatee, Schumann’s fellow composer Ferdinand Hiller, on the podium. It met with instant acclaim and has long since enjoyed its standing as one of the world’s best-loved concert favourites, often paired with Grieg’s Piano concerto in the same key.

Maestro Boico rounds off his programme with a welcome opportunity for his audience to savour the delights of the young Beethoven’s lesser-known symphonies. Its spacious first movement is grandly conceived, while its two central movements offer contrasting, stand-out characteristics. The second movement’s Larghetto evokes the influence of folk music, while its pastoral section presages his famous Sixth Symphony.

The third movement Scherzo encloses an enchantingly melodious oboe and bassoon quartet within an ebullient Austrian side-slapping dance. The work comes to an adventurous close with its high-energy finale that foretells many of its composer’s later hallmark escapades into unexpected terrain.

Please note that this performance will be filmed. By entering the event, you are entering an area where photography, audio and video recording may occur.

Season tickets are only available through our offices on or 031 369 9438. Single tickets may be purchased through Quicket.

We look forward to sharing a wealth of superb music-making with you all!

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