Mendelssohn Piano Concerto in G minor
Adrian Romoff, fortepiano
Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4 (‘Italian’)
Berwald Symphony Singulaire
Twelve-year-old Adrian Romoff makes his Lincoln Center debut
This season, the American Classical Orchestra is launching an innovative Concert Preview program that will bring listeners closer to the music. Thirty minutes before each Lincoln Center concert, Conductor Thomas Crawford and the full orchestra will take the stage, with Crawford talking about the works on the program and the musicians performing excerpts. Crawford’s engaging narratives, along with the live music, will give the audience greater insights into what they’re about to hear, resulting in a more enriched musical experience.
The Concert Preview starts promptly at 7:30pm. No late seating will be permitted. At 7:50pm, audience wishing to attend only the concert may be seated for the traditional 8:00pm start time.
Prodigies have occupied a unique place in music history: Wolfgang Mozart performed dazzling feats for European royalty while his feet could not yet reach the piano pedals. Felix Mendelssohn was a boy wonder as both a pianist and composer. And the Lincoln Center debut of a child prodigy is surely a newsworthy event. As the ACO proudly presents Adrian Romoff performing Mendelssohn’s spectacular Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, we can expect audiences to marvel at the uncanny early virtuosity of a 12-year-old boy who has the technical skills and fearlessness to perform an advanced work of art. While great pianists often perform this concerto for its joy and extroverted élan, the work represents a very bold step for the debut of a young artist.
At this concert, the ACO also gives its first performance of Mendelssohn’s most well-known work: the ‘Italian’ Symphony. The opening movement is among a handful of the most recognizable themes in music, with its exuberant and sunny A major key, and singing melodies. The melancholy slow movement is heart wrenching; the scherzo brings to mind fairy dances; and the finale promises to bring all present to the edge of their seats.
Franz Berwald’s Symphony Singulaire was written in 1845, while the Swedish-born composer was in Vienna. It premiered with little fanfare and languishes in obscurity to this day. Yet this contemporary of Mendelssohn is worth hearing. His Symphony Singulaire portrays early colors of ‘northern lights’ such as Sibelius would develop generations later. And when paired with the two Mendelssohn masterpieces, this enigmatic composition provides a fresh and satisfying contrast.