Orpheus Chamber Orchestra & Steven Isserlis, cello
The US premiere of the 100-year-old Symphony for String Orchestra by Hans Rott, a protégé of Bruckner and Mahler, begins this fascinating concert by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Mahler noted, "it is impossible to estimate what music lost in him" and, indeed, Rott's symphony is a marvel: a vibrant opening, harmonically daring middle movement, and witty Scherzo suggest tremendous promise in the 16-year-old composer, who died of tuberculosis at just 25. C.P.E. Bach's lively Cello Concerto in A Major follows, featuring the exceptional Steven Isserlis. About Isserlis' Grammy-nominated recording of this concerto, Gramophone said "[his] refinement and elegance … throw an entirely new perspective on the concerto." Finally, though Gustav Mahler was sometimes critical of Franz Schubert, he nevertheless admired "Death and the Maiden" so much that he transcribed the quartet for string orchestra. It is this luxurious arrangement of one great composer's work by another that caps this incredible program.
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