Mendelssohn was still a boy when he composed his first symphony to honour his sister Fanny, a sign of brotherly love that has propelled the piece’s success from 19th century London to 21st century Montréal. The symphony’s vigour, grace and imagination make it a cornerstone of the repertoire, with a palpable influence of the classical legacy of Mozart and Beethoven.
Two solo violins perform a musical dialogue as they challenge, imitate, and chase one another throughout the Bach’s double concerto, which was one of the composer’s most popular pieces in Leipzig. Listen for the ritornello, a refrain commonly used in Baroque style, featured in the first and third movements. The overture and suite from J. C. Bach’s Parisian opera Amadis de Gaule open the program, recounting the tumultuous story of a pair of jealous lovers that takes the form of a patently classical Sinfonia.
J.C. Bach, Overture and suite from Amadis de Gaule
J.S. Bach, Concerto for Two Violins in D minor
Mendelssohn, Symphony No. 1