Thursday 25 May 2017, 6pmRoyal Festival Hall, London
Jan Regulski violin
Gijs Kramers viola
Eric Villeminey cello
Adam Wynter bass
Laurent Ben Slimane clarinet
Luke Whitehead bassoon
Geremia Iezzi horn
Beethoven Septet in E flat major, Op. 20
Dedicated to the Empress Maria Theresa, Beethoven’s charming Op. 20 Septet is scored for clarinet, horn, bassoon and strings, and was premièred alongside his First Symphony in 1800. Its consistent popularity and numerous transcriptions caused great distress to the young composer: throughout his life he felt this work overshadowed some of his greater masterpieces.
Despite Beethoven’s reservations it arguably remains the finest septet in history. The grand and expansive introduction leads into sparkling virtuoso interplay between the instruments in freer arrangements than their traditional and stricter ‘classical’ roles, before a surprisingly brooding yet energetic finale.
In the evening performance at 7.30pm, hear Herbert Blomstedt lead the Orchestra in a performance of Beethoven's memorable Seventh Symphony, alongside Brahms' First Piano Concerto with Martin Helmchen.
This concert is part of the Philharmonia Chamber Players series