The prodigal Felix Mendelssohn dominates the first half, which opens with the evergreen The Hebrides, often known as Fingal’s Cave (1930). This standalone overture, inspired by the composer’s trip to Scotland’s isles, is one of the most enduring depictions of nature in the classical canon. After this stirring introduction, Schiff will conduct the OAE Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 (1942), often dubbed the Scottish. Commenced on the same trip as The Hebrides but completed much later, it is usually performed without movement breaks. Throughout, it alternates majestic evocations of rugged landscapes with the vivaciousness of folk dance, concluding with a resounding burst of joy. One of the nineteenth century’s greatest symphonies, it is likely to be a pleasure in the OAE’s hands.
For the second half, Schiff will move to the piano stool. Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto (1846) is as dramatic and stirring as any symphony. Opening with a fierce burst of energy, its first movement sees the piano dazzlingly transform the main theme. A delicate intermezzo then gives way to the magnificent climax, with shifting time signatures and a final burst of exhilaration. This is romantic music at its most enticing, sweeping through sublime melodies with endless invention. With Schiff at the helm, this looks to be one of the autumn’s highlights.
|What||Sir Andras Schiff and the OAE, Royal Festival Hall|
|Where||Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
On 10 Nov 15, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Southbank Centre|