Sylvester Konzert: Dvořák & Beethoven

Kurhaus Wiesbaden
Fri 29.12.23 20:00

Franz Liszt, Les préludes, S. 97
Antonín Dvořák, Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104, B. 191
Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67

For a long time, Dvořák did not consider the cello as suitable for a solo role in a concerto: “too nasal in the heights and too mumbling in the depths.” But after attending the premiere of a cello concerto by a fellow composer and cellist in New York, he changed his mind and got down to work. The news that his sister-in-law – with whom he had once been in love – had become seriously ill in Europe, led Dvořák to quote her favourite song, his own composition Leave Me Alone, in the second movement of his cello concerto. The third movement ends on a sigh, after which all orchestral hell breaks loose for a moment. “Had I known that a cello concerto could be so beautiful,” said Brahms following a performance of Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, “then I would have written one myself!”

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is perhaps the most famous work in the history of classical music. He described the highly rhythmic opening motif - three short notes and a longer one - with the words “thus fate knocks at the door!” Unlike the Greeks, however, people of the Enlightenment era did not see fate as a force to which they blindly submitted. In four movements, Beethoven thus forges a path from darkness (the opening movement in C minor) to the light (the final movement in C major). “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage,” the German philosopher Immanuel Kant once said. The sinister notes of destiny in the first movement undergo various metamorphoses and ultimately return in the fourth movement in a bright, triumphant march.


Antony Hermus, conductor
Alexey Stadler, cello


© Photo by Marco Borggreve


Antony Hermus

Antony Hermus was recently appointed Chief Conductor of the Belgian National Orchestra, starting an initial four-year term in September 2022 with a Designate year.

Alexey Stadler

“Alexey Stadler played with (…) the kind of tactile, honeyed tone capable of bringing listeners to their knees.”
The Times