LSO – CHIN/BEETHOVEN
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No 2
Unsuk Chin Piano Concerto
Interval – 20 minutes
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No 8
François-Xavier Roth conductor
Bertrand Chamayou piano
London Symphony Orchestra
Beethoven wrote two light-hearted symphonies in especially difficult times. He composed his Second Symphony while struggling with his increasing deafness, and the Eighth coincides with a despairing letter to his ‘immortal beloved’, a mystery woman with whom he had a tragic affair. Yet Symphony No 2 contains an offbeat ‘scherzo’ or ‘joke’ movement, and the surprises come thick and fast in the Eighth. Listen out for the laughter and footsteps in the second movement, and the double-take in the finale when the symphony discovers it’s in the wrong key.
For François-Xavier Roth, Beethoven’s symphonies ‘work very well with modern music, maybe because his symphonies are an amazing example of radical, modern music, that changed the basis of composing and of the role of music in our life. We can hear Beethoven’s music with different ears, in dialogue with contemporary music from our time.’
Roth and the LSO bring a fresh perspective to Beethoven’s enduring works, and precision to the charming paradoxes of Unsuk Chin’s Concerto. Bertrand Chamayou dives deep into Chin’s oeuvre as part of an Artist Portrait series, which includes chamber music at LSO St Luke’s.