We start off the new year with a programme that dances. Beethoven's Seventh Symphony was described by Richard Wagner as "the Apotheosis of the Dance itself: it is Dance in its highest aspect, the loftiest deed of bodily motion, incorporated into an ideal mould of tone". It pairs with the Ballet Music from the opera Idomeneo by W. A. Mozart. Mozart initially wanted to incorporate a dance scene at the end of all the opera's acts, but he then opted for a large-scale dance section at the end of the work. But because Idomeneo is rather lengthy, the ballet is often dropped. In Cologne, the programme is completed by Mendelssohn's Second Piano Concerto, with Alexander Melnikov at the keys. The MCO and Alexander Melnikov have played together on several occasions and produced a disc for Harmonia Mundi dedicated to Shostakovich's oeuvre. In Linz, we complete the programme with a composition from more recent times. P. Hindemith's The Four Temperaments was originally conceived as ballet music but completed as a commission.
The baton is picked up for an MCO debut by Maxim Emelyanychev. The young conductor is known for his dynamic and exciting performances, and we can't wait to see what our first collaboration will be like.