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Mendelssohn: The Complete Symphonies with Sir András Schiff

24 April 2024 to 26 April 2024 The Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall

Following the sell-out success of their Beethoven Piano Concerto series together in 2022, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) reunite with Sir András Schiff for an immersive journey through the quintet of masterworks that spanned Mendelssohn’s tragically short life.

In addition to the five symphonies, Sir András Schiff will direct Mendelssohn’s two piano concertos from the keyboard.

“It’s a love affair… There are composers who are not enough appreciated, but these are giants. The more I study Mendelssohn, the more I know about him, the more lovable he seems, both as a human being and as a musician. There is so much to admire and to thank him for.” - Sir András Schiff

Wednesday 24 April, 7:00pm

All three pieces performed on the first night of Mendelssohn: The Complete Symphonies exhibit the scintillating promise of his early career. At the London premiere of Symphony No. 1 in 1829 one critic wrote that “Fertility of invention and novelty of effect, are what first strike the hearers of M. Mendelssohn’s symphony”. It is followed by the rambunctious Piano Concerto No. 1, whilst the colours of Italy fly out of the orchestra from the first sun-drenched bars of Symphony No. 4.

Thursday 25 April, 7:00pm

Mendelssohn first performed Bach’s St Matthew Passion in 1829, so it is perhaps no surprise that the ‘Reformation’ Symphony he began work on shortly after weaves a grand symphonic statement of faith. The Piano Concerto No. 2, composed for the Birmingham Music Festival of 1837, has emerged from the shadow of its predecessor over time. The last of his symphonies to be completed – the ‘Scottish’ Symphony in 1842 – reveals an artist whose enduring appeal lies in his carefully wrought balance of the old and novel.

Friday 26 April, 7:00pm

The Violin Concerto is arguably Mendelssohn’s greatest musical achievement – a benchmark which almost all future concertos for the instrument aspire to or rebel against. If any work could have established Mendelssohn’s status as heir to Beethoven it may have been ‘Lobgesang’. The hybrid symphony-cantata, premiered in 1840, celebrates the 400th anniversary of Guttenberg’s movable type-printing press, an invention that was to prove transformative in European history.

Jump on board for the whole Mendelssohn symphonic journey with Sir András Schiff. The Artist Collection Pass enables you to see all three Mendelssohn concerts with a 15% discount, starting from £38.25. More info on how to book here Club OAE Season Tickets 2023/24 - Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment