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Don´t Leave Me This Way

feat. Rachmaninoff, Schubert, Gulda, Beethoven & Bartók

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Don't leave me this way.

It's the sentiment composers have been writing about since time immemorial, meaning that there was a wealth of repertoire we could have chosen for this collection. Still, we haven't just covered awful break-ups up. Take our programme opener, Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No 2 played by Daniil Trifonov; because, sure, its second movement was the soundtrack for the lovers' final parting in the film Brief Encounter, but it was also the work with which Rachmaninoff made his comeback as a composer, after the disastrous reception of his First Symphony had almost killed that side of his career.

We have gone for some full-on lover's angst next, though, because it's Mark Padmore singing Schubert's Winterreise: the song cycle which follows the emotional and physical journey of a man who, rejected by the woman he loves, has left his house to wander into a bitterly cold snowy night. Our next departure is death-themed, but funnily not a sad one. It's the ebullient Concerto for Cello and Wind Band written in 1980 by Friedrich Gulda, and when Gulda died in 2000, it was on the birthday of his hero Mozart. The concerto is played here by Nicholas Altstaedt. After that, we've got Paul Lewis playing Beethoven's famous Opus 27 “Moonlight” piano sonata, written as it became clear he was losing his hearing and dedicated to one of his unrequited loves.

It's then another unlucky in love work with which we finish: Bartók's Violin Concerto No 1, played here by Vilde Frang. Bartók wrote this concerto as an expression of his love for the violinist prodigy Stefi Geyer. She rejected both his love and the concerto, but he didn't know this as he wrote it, so the music's blend of romance and exuberance is actually the perfect upbeat way in which to play us out.

Curation & Text: Charlotte Gardner

Speaker: Charlotte Gardner

Visual Art: Philipp Nicolai Hertel

  • Don´t Leave Me This Way

  • An introduction to Rachmaninoff — Piano Concerto No. 2 in c minor op. 18

  • Piano Concerto No. 2 in c minor op. 18 Preview Only

    Sergei Rachmaninoff

    Daniil Trifonov, Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin2018
  • An introduction to Schubert, Müller — Winterreise D 911 op. 89

  • Winterreise D 911 op. 89 Preview Only

    Franz Schubert (lyr. Wilhelm Müller)

    Mark Padmore, Kristian Bezuidenhout2017
  • An introduction to Gulda — Konzert für Cello und Bläser

  • Konzert für Cello und Bläser Preview Only

    Friedrich Gulda

    Nicolas Altstaedt, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Alexander Joel2008
  • An introduction to Beethoven — Piano Sonata No. 14 in c sharp minor op. 27 No. 2 »Moonshine«

  • Piano Sonata No. 14 in c sharp minor op. 27 No. 2 »Moonshine« Preview Only

    Ludwig van Beethoven

    Paul Lewis
  • An introduction to Bartók — Violin Concerto No. 1 Sz 36

  • Violin Concerto No. 1 Sz 36 Preview Only

    Béla Bartók

    Vilde Frang, Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France2017

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