Henley Symphony Orchestra

March 26, 2023
The Hexagon

Martin Roscoe  – Piano

Leon Bosch  – Conductor


Smetana: Vltava
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5 in Eb Major Op 73
Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2

Smetana’s evocative Vltava (a description of the Moldau river) was written in 1874 after he aligned himself to the growing move for Czech identity. Beethoven began composing his Fifth and final ‘Emperor’ Concerto in 1809, while Vienna was under invasion from Napoleon’s forces for the second time. Its bold melodies and heroic spirit befit its dedication to the exiled Archduke Rudolph, Beethoven’s friend, patron and student. After the disastrous premiere of his First Symphony, Rachmaninov fell into a depression. Happily for us, his Second Symphony, written in Dresden where he took his family to escape the political tumult that would put Russia on the path to revolution, was premiered to great acclaim in 1908 in St Petersburg. It remains one of the composer’s most popular and best-known compositions.