The Romance series • ERSO kontserdisarjad 2023/2024
In November, two British musicians will be performing with ERSO – conductor Martyn Brabbins and soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn. Brabbins is the Music Director of the English National Opera and a lecturer of conducting at the Royal College of Music and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He has had a long career as an opera conductor and has also conducted hundreds of new works by British composers around the world. Highlights of Elizabeth Llewellyn’s 2022/23 concert season were the title role in Richard Strauss’ opera Ariadne auf Naxos (Ariadne on Naxos) at the Leeds Grand Theatre & Opera House, and Strauss’ cycle Vier letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs) with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. The latter will also be heard during the autumn concert with ERSO. Brabbins will also conduct the performances of Jean Sibelius’ Kalevala-based symphonic poem Tapiola and Symphony No. 5 by British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.
In February, long-time chief conductor of the orchestra, Arvo Volmer, will once again perform with ERSO. ERSO, Volmer, and concert soloist Benjamin Beilman have met on stage before when they performed together on a concert tour in the United States in 2018. Beilman will be visiting Estonia for the first time, and the concert will feature Benjamin Britten’s Violin Concerto. One of the important themes for ERSO’s 2023/24 season is Gustav Mahler’s symphonies, and one of them, No. 6, will also be performed during this concert. This symphony, also known as Tragic, is a large-scale work composed for a large orchestral ensemble. However, the first movement of the symphony contains one of Mahler’s most romantic themes, named after his wife Alma.
In March, ERSO, Olari Elts, and Aile Asszonyi will meet on the stage of the Estonia Concert Hall to perform an operatic concert programme. The central pieces of the evening will be excerpts from Richard Wagner’s last opera Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods), part of the tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung). This year, soloist Aile Asszonyi made her historic debut at the Frankfurt Opera, taking the stage in the title role in Elektra by Richard Strauss. This is one of the most compelling roles ever performed by an Estonian singer in a top European opera house. Asszonyi’s dramatic soprano is particularly well-suited to major roles in the operas of Wagner and Strauss. This evening, however, we will be hearing a performance of Strauss’ instrumental music, namely his symphonic poem Don Juan.
The Romance series will end in May and the orchestra will once again be under the baton of Chief Conductor Olari Elts. The concert will feature an exceptional line-up of soloists, four young Estonian horn players – Paula Ernesaks, Kairi Sosi, Eliise Tani, and Kreete Jacob, all with prominent careers ahead of them in Estonia and abroad. Paula Ernesaks joined the Berliner Philharmoniker as a member of its horn section in the spring of 2022. Robert Schumann’s Concertpiece for Four Horns and Orchestra will be performed with horns as the soloists. The second half of the concert will feature a performance of Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 4, which is the longest of his symphonies and a good summary of his entire symphonic output. The evening will begin with the premiere of Rasmus Puur’s Symphony No. 1.
I: BRABBINS AND LLEWELLYN. Four Last Songs
Friday, 24 November 2023
at 7 p.m.
Jean Sibelius. Symphonic poem Tapiola, Op. 112
Richard Strauss. Vier letzte lieder (Four Last Songs)
Ralph Vaughan Williams. Symphony No. 5 in D major
Soprano ELIZABETH LLEWELLYN, ERSO, conductor MARTYN BRABBINS
II: VOLMER AND MAHLER
Friday, 16 February 2024
at 7 p.m.
Arvo Pärt. Swansong
Benjamin Britten. Violin Concerto, Op. 15
Gustav Mahler. Symphony No. 6 in A minor
BENJAMIN BEILMAN on violin, ERSO, conductor ARVO VOLMER
III: AILE ASSZONYI AND WAGNER
Friday, 22 March 2024
at 7 p.m.
Richard Strauss. Symphonic poem Don Juan
Paul Hindemith. Drei Gesänge (Three Songs), Op. 9
Richard Wagner. ‘Siegfrieds Rheinfahrt’ (‘Siegfried’s Rhein Journey’) from the opera Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods)
Richard Wagner. ‘Siegfrieds Trauermusik’ (‘Siegfried’s Funeral March’) from the opera Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods)
Richard Wagner. ‘Starke Scheite schichtet mir dort’ (‘Build me a sturdy funeral pyre’) from the opera Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods)
Soprano AILE ASSZONYI, ERSO, conductor OLARI ELTS
IV: ELTS AND BRAHMS
Friday, 3 May 2024
at 6 p.m. (pre-concert)
at 7 p.m.
Rasmus Puur. Symphony (premiere)
Robert Schumann. Concertpiece for Four Horns and Orchestra, Op. 86
Johannes Brahms. Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98
PAULA ERNESAKS on horn, KAIRI SOSI on horn, ELIISE TANI on horn, KREETE JACOB on horn, ERSO, conductor OLARI ELTS