- Symphony No. 1 (Classical)
- Variations on a Rococo Theme
- Symphony No. 4 (Italian)
- Alexey Stadler
- Vladimir Ashkenazy
Founded in Lugano, Switzerland, in 1935 this evening’s orchestra played a crucial role in the region’s musical development, helping to establish important festivals in Lugano, Locarno and Ascona from the 1940s. Vladimir Ashkenazy is the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor as well as being one of the most famous and revered pianists and conductors in the world.
Tonight the orchestra performs Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony and Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, renowned as one of the most brilliant virtuoso display pieces in orchestral literature and is the closest Tchaikovsky came to writing a cello concerto. The acclaimed cellist Alexey Stadler is the soloist.
After the interval the orchestra performs Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, otherwise known as the Italian Symphony because of its evocation of Italy. It blends two lively folk dance styles which are both abundantly energetic, bordering on frenetic. Mendelssohn described the piece as ‘the jolliest piece I have so far written… and the most mature thing I have ever done’.