Concert series ‘ROMANCE’

18.10.24 at 18:00 - Estonia kontserdisaal (eelkontsert)
18.10.24 at 19:00 - Estonia Concert Hall
22.11.24 at 18:00 - Estonia kontserdisaal (eelkontsert)
22.11.24 at 19:00 - Estonia Concert Hall
11.04.25 at 18:00 - Estonia kontserdisaal (eelkontsert)
11.04.25 at 19:00 - Estonia Concert Hall
16.05.25 at 18:00 - Estonia kontserdisaal (eelkontsert)
16.05.25 at 19:00 - Estonia Concert Hall
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Programme

The series is sponsored by Nordic Catering


I: NEEME JÄRVI AND FRIENDS

Friday, 18 October 2024 at 6 p.m. (pre-concert*) and at 7 p.m. at the Estonia Concert Hall

Peeter Vähi. Blue Collage

Artur Lemba. Piano Concerto No. 2 in E minor

Sergei Bortkiewicz. Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 16

TRIIN RUUBEL violin, INDREK LEIVATEGIJA cello, ANNA SHELEST piano, ERSO, conductor NEEME JÄRVI


II: THE RING OF THE NIBELUNG

Friday, 22 November 2024 at 6 p.m. (pre-concert*) and at 7 p.m. at the Estonia Concert Hall

Richard Wagner/Joseph Swensen. Ring Odyssey

AILE ASSZONYI soprano, MATI TURI tenor, EAMT Symphony Orchestra, ERSO, conductor JOSEPH SWENSEN


III: BELLINCAMPI AND SCHUMANN

Friday, 11 April 2025 at 6 p.m. (pre-concert*) and at 7 p.m. at the Estonia Concert Hall

Felix Mendelssohn. Overture Ruy Blas, Op. 95

Edward Grieg. Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

Robert Schumann. Symphony No. 2 in C major, Op. 61

ALEXANDER GAVRYLYUK piano, ERSO, conductor GIORDANO BELLINCAMPI


IV: FINAL CONCERT OF THE SEASON

Friday, 16 May 2025 at 6 p.m. (pre-concert*) and at 7 p.m. at the Estonia Concert Hall

Thomas Adès. America: A Prophecy, Op. 19

Sergei Rachmaninoff. Choral symphony The Bells, Op. 35

Arvo Pärt. Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten

Lepo Sumera. Symphony No. 2

State Choir LATVIJA, ERSO, conductor OLARI ELTS


The first concert in the ‘Romance’ series brings conductor Neeme Järvi together with his long-time musical partners on the stage of the Estonia Concert Hall: Triin Ruubel on violin, Indrek Leivategija on cello, and Anna Shelest on piano. Ruubel and Leivategija will perform the solos of Peeter Vähi’s Blue Collage. The concert playlist includes Piano Concerto No. 2 by Artur Lemba, one of the brightest pianists in Estonian music history. Lemba’s works are characterised by a combination of classical and romantic styles and a lyrical sound. The playlist also includes Piano Concerto No. 1 by Sergei Bortkiewicz, a Romantic composer of Ukrainian descent. His compositions are heavily influenced by the music of Liszt, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and other nineteenth-century greats. Anna Shelest, the soloist for the piano concerti, is an artist with numerous international accolades, who has enchanted audiences across the world. The New York Times has described her as a pianist of ‘a fiery sensibility and warm touch.’

In November, conductor Joseph Swensen returns to ERSO, this time with a large-scale project. In May 2023, his Ring Odyssey was performed for the first time ever in Toulouse. It is a musical journey based on Richard Wagner’s tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen that passes through all four operas. It offers a rare opportunity to listen to the music of the tetralogy, lasting 15 hours altogether in the original, condensed into a single concert. Soprano Aile Asszonyi and tenor Mati Turi will perform the solos. Asszonyi’s dramatic soprano is particularly well-suited for major roles in the operas of Wagner and Strauss. She is the second Estonian to perform at one of the most powerful opera events in the world – the Bayreuth Wagner Festival. Mati Turi has sung a number of roles in Wagner’s works as well. His latest performance with Asszonyi was in Tristan and Isolde produced by Theatre Vanemuine. The musicians of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre Symphony Orchestra will join ERSO on the stage.

In April, conductor Giordano Bellincampi, whose return is always eagerly awaited by the orchestra as well as the audience, will direct ERSO. The concert playlist includes the overture Ruy Blas by Felix Mendelssohn for the play of the same name by Victor Hugo. This is the largest orchestral overture by Mendelssohn in terms of the orchestration, despite the fact that the composer admittedly completed the piece in only three days. Ukrainian pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk, who resides in Australia, will perform Edward Grieg’s Piano Concerto. On one hand, this composition reflects the colours of the nature of Norway, Grieg’s home country, and on the other hand, the example set by Robert Schumann and other German masters. Gavrylyuk is a highly valued virtuoso, who is the residing artist of London Wigmore Hall in the 2023/24 season. The second half of the concert is dedicated to Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 2. Schumann is the best example of a composer of the Romantic period – his manner of creative expression is lyrical with an emphasis on the self and he often used non-musical, primarily literary, references in his work.

Similarly to the first ERSO concert of the season, which used the sound of bells as its recurring theme, the final concert of the season will take place in the same spirit, concluding the ‘Romance’ series. Conducted by Olari Elts, the concert begins with the apocalyptic work by British composer Thomas Adès America: A Prophecy for a soprano and an orchestra. The concert continues on a prophetic note with the choral symphony The Bells by Sergei Rachmaninoff, performed with the State Choir LATVIJA. The symphony uses poetry by Edgar Allen Poe and the melancholy nature of the piece has been seen as a prediction of the dark future of Russia. The theme of the sound of bells continues in Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten. The composition has been described as a musical meditation on death. Estonian music is also represented by Lepo Sumera’s Symphony No. 2, dedicated to the former chief conductor of ERSO, Peeter Lilje.