Weber - Overture: Euryanthe
Mozart - Piano Concerto No.25
Brahms - Symphony No.1
The Ulster Orchestra has had a long and treasured relationship with the pianist and conductor Howard Shelley, recording regularly together. This concert is an opportunity to celebrate Shelley’s 70th birthday in fine musical style.
Shelley is an elegant and delightful performer of Mozart, capable of bringing out all the charm and drama of the music. The composer Olivier Messiaen, in his essays on Mozart’s concertos, stated that ‘the first movement is without a doubt the most finely wrought, the most perfect of all the first movements of Mozart’s concertos.’ Vast and symphonic in scope, it is a glorious centrepiece to showcase Shelley’s talents in the role of soloist.
Brahms had been so intimidated by Schumann’s prediction that he was the man destined to ‘take over the mantle of Beethoven’ that it took him over 20 years to complete his First Symphony. It was worth the wait though; the listener is taken on an epic journey from dramatic beginning, through titanic struggle to cloud-parting sunshine, brilliance and triumph.