BEETHOVEN & BRAHMS
ASSEMBLY HALL, WORTHING
Sunday 26th February at 2.45pm
Ludwig van Beethoven Overture ‘The Ruins of Athens’
Johannes Brahms. Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor
Max Reger. The Hermit fiddler (No. 1 - 4 Böcklein Pictures) Op. 128
Ludwig van Beethoven. Symphony No. 8 in F major
Soloist: IAN FOUNTAIN (piano)
Conductor: JOHN GIBBONS
Leader: JULIAN LEAPER
Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony is one of his most uplifting works: ‘ A Miracle of Beauty’ wrote Riccardo Chailly and Beethoven himself considered it to be a finer work than the Seventh. It contains much urbane humour but is also a riot of melodic invention and rhythmic propulsion.
It contrasts greatly with Brahms’s monumental Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor which began life as a work for two pianos, morphed into a four-movement symphony, before ending up as an epic Piano Concerto. Ian Fountain gave a memorable performance of Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto last season and there will be great anticipation of his return to play one of Brahms’ best loved concertos.
Max Reger, one of Germany’s finest late romantic composers, is hardly known in this country. Der geigende Eremit (The Hermit Fiddler) is inspired by a Böcklin painting Der Einsiedler.
The work features a solo violin, contrasted by a group of muted strings and another group
un-muted. It has been favourably compared to Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending.
The concert opens with a rare Beethoven overture (he wrote 11!) - The Ruins of Athens - which was composed in 1811, a couple of years before the Eighth Symphony.
The professional orchestra of
IN 1989 IAN BECAME THE YOUNGEST WINNER OF THE ARTHUR RUBINSTEIN PIANO MASTERS COMPETITION IN TEL AVIV AT THE AGE OF NINETEEN.
He was educated as a chorister at New College, Oxford and later at Winchester College.
He studied piano under Sulamita Aronovsky at the Royal Northern College of Music.
Since 2001, Ian Fountain has been a piano professor at the Royal Academy of Music, London. He holds an annual summer masterclass at the Accademia di Cervo, Italy, and further masterclasses around the world. He has served on the juries of international piano competitions, including at the Arthur Rubinstein Competition in 2011.