An inheritor of Willem Mengelberg, Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink is celebrated for his attention to detail, and strength of character. In this collaboration with the Orchestre national de France (one of Radio France’s four flagship orchestras) Haitink plies his expertise to the works of two of his signature composers, making for a truly exciting musical evening!
Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony was initially composed as tribute to, Napoleon Bonaparte, the man he thought would be the “liberator” of Europe. Yet the composer himself would angrily scratch out the dedication when the supposed liberator showed himself to be a tyrant. “Deadly boring, interminable, and rambling”, the symphony was picked apart by critics, but their lack of comprehension was probably due the brilliantly innovative work's transformation of symphonic genre: Beethoven’s Third would mark the beginning of what many consider to be his “second style”.
With his Concerto for Orchestra, Béla Bartók drew on the classical genre of the symphonie concertante to create a new kind of work that gave each family of orchestral instruments a virtuosic moment in the spotlight. The piece quickly gained in popularity and helped Bartók’s music to reach a wider audience. The Concerto is moves forward in a progressive emotional crescendo, beginning with a serious and measured first movement and culminating in a joyous and life-affirming final movement.