On September 2nd, I went to see the first Zondagochtendconcert of the freshly started cultural season in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. The program consisted of works of Sibelius (who I wasn’t at all familiar with) and Edvard Grieg (which were the reasons for me to go).
The main draw for me was Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, which I first encountered while hanging in front of the TV one Sunday-afternoon many moons ago. From its impressive opening with it’s roaring timpani and crashing crescendo, through the mellow second part, and right through to the end, it’s a classic—if you’ll excuse the pun.
But as it turns out, the highlight was the 1st Peer Gynt Suite. Whether you realize it or not, you probably know most of it. The first part, Morgenstemning (Morning Mood) is the go-to classical piece to accompany cartooncharacters rising from their beds in the morning.
The final part, I Dovregubbens hall (In the Hall of the Mountain King), is probably the best known piece. It’s almost used to death: there are covers by Apocalyptica, Rainbow, The Who, ELO, Epica and Savatage (to name just a few of the more rocking renditions), and it has appeared in several movies and videogames. Like Ravel’s Bolero, it has one theme that keeps repeating and building up until it explodes. It’s awesome.
The concert was broadcasted live on the radio, and is available online for streaming.
- Seen live:
- Het Radio 4 Zondagochtendconcert with Limburgs Symfonie Orkest conducted by Otto Tausk, with Hannes Minnaar (piano) at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on September 2nd, 2012.
- Works played
- Jean Sibelius — Valse Triste
Edvard Grieg — Peer Gynt Suite no. 1, op. 46
Edvard Grieg — Pianoconcert in A minor, op. 16