The Tempest, symphonic fantasy after Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture after Shakespeare
Symphony No. 1 in C minor
Under the theme Los Ritmos de la Noche, Gustavo Dudamelʼs first Waldbühne concert in June 2008 was dominated by Spanish and Latin American rhythms. This season, the Venezuelan conductor presents a very different, but no less enthralling programme. The evening begins with two orchestral works by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, inspired by the plays of William Shakespeare: the Symphonic Fantasia The Tempest and the Overture-Fantasy Romeo and Juliet. In the latter work, Tchaikovsky leads the listener through very different emotional spheres: the religious, contemplative domain of Friar Lawrence, the hostile, hate-filled realm of the two warring noble families, and the romantic, rapturous world of the lovers which finds its expression in a beguiling cantilena from the cor anglais.
The third item of the concert is Johannes Brahmsʼ First Symphony, a work which begins with a portentous timpani ostinato, and whose middle movements seem like restrained, lyrical interludes. A very different compositional world to Tchaikovsky. Although the two composers met several times in person, their manner towards each other was reserved. Tchaikovsky did not appreciate Brahmsʼ music which he felt was too contrived and unmelodious. The two composer are connected by the fact that both Brahms and Tchaikovsky conducted the Berliner Philharmoniker in performances of their own works, with the musicians of the orchestra at the time receiving their interpretative approach at first hand, so to speak.