Andris Nelsons, conductor
Sol Gabetta, cello
Sunday 06 February
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Cello Concerto in B Minor, Op. 104
Pëtr Il'ič Čajkovskij
Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 Pathétique
Active since 1743, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig numbers among the world's oldest orchestras. Andris Nelsons, one of the world's most sought-after conductors, has been the 21st Gewandhaus-Kapellmeister since 2017. His predecessors include Felix Mendelssohn, Carl Reinecke, Wilhelm Furtwängler and Herbert Blomstedt. Tha Latvian musician divides his time between Europe and the United States, where he is Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
After two appearances at the LAC in 2019, the Gewandhausorchester and Andris Nelsons now return to Lugano with cellist Sol Gabetta.
"The programme will remain a mystery to everyone. Let them guess". These are the words Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky wrote to his nephew regarding the "programme" of his last and favourite symphony, the Sixth in B minor Pathétique, perhaps the most performed and best known of all his works. Written in one go between 1892 and 1893, the year of the composer's death, after a period of creative crisis, the Pathétique fascinates through its tormented character that seems to reveal the inner events that happened during Tchaikovsky's last years.
A troubled youthful love affair accompanies the birth of Antonín Dvořák's Cello Concerto in B minor, which the composer completed during the last period of his American sojourn. Having learned of Josefina Cermáková's serious illness, he included a tune taken from a cycle of songs particularly dear to her in the second movement. At the concerto's close, the first violin picks up again that same tune. It is so intimate, unusual and "anti" virtuosic that Dvořák had to prevent the concerto's very first soloist, Hanus Wihan, from adding a cadenza that would highlight his technical skills.