Beethoven’s Emperor & Mahler 5
Dominion Energy Center

Beethoven’s Emperor & Mahler 5

Atria Masterworks 4

About the Event

Join the Richmond Symphony and guest artist Orion Weiss on piano, for a breathtaking evening of musical excellence. The concert features Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 Opus 73 “Emperor,” as well as the epic masterpiece that is Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 in C-Sharp Minor.

Beethoven wrote this concerto while Vienna was under siege by Napoleon’s armies. “What a disturbing, wild life all around me,” Beethoven wrote to his publisher, “nothing but drums, cannons, men, misery of all sorts.” The piece has a wide dynamic range that opens with a striking first movement, settles into a serene hymn-like adagio, and moves through to a triumphant rondo finale.

When Gustav Mahler conducted the first performance of his Fifth Symphony in 1904, it was described as “the giant symphony,” due to the immense demands placed on the orchestra. The first movement is a sort of funeral march. It begins with a single trumpet announcing the main theme. The entire orchestra eventually takes up this theme, building to a powerful climax before yielding to a more lyrical, plaintive melody. Eventually, the lighthearted waltz crashes its way back in and struggles with the darker theme, prevailing triumphantly at the end. The piece moves from sorrow to joy through epic swells of orchestral participation.

Orion Weiss is one of the most sought-after soloists in his generation of young American musicians.His deeply felt and exceptionally crafted performances go far beyond his technical mastery and have won him worldwide acclaim.