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Concert Hour: Heidelberg Spring (Pt. 1 of 2)

The sounds of spring in this week's show - from the Heidelberg Spring festival. We'll hear a program featuring long-time collaborators Jörg Widmann and the Irish Camber Orchestra.

Heidlberg's Castle, illuminated at night

Heidelberg - an ideal festival setting

It's off to Germany's hilly wine country and the Heidelberg Spring Festival in this week's show. A highlight of the most recent edition of the fest: conductor and clarinetist Jörg Widmann's collaboration with the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

They've been making music together with Widmann as conductor for more than 10 years now. "I must say that I really love the orchestra because they are so open to new ideas. We try things, and it's risky sometimes what we try - but no risk, no fun," says Widmann, who calls the orchestra his "musical family."

One of Widmann's own pieces is on the program - "180 beats per minute" - a rhythmically-driven work for strings that draws its name from the furious techno beats popular when Widmann composed it as a student in 1993.

At the core of the show, however, is Beethoven's Triple Concerto in C Major, featuring violinist Ning Feng among the soloists, who says of the piece, "If I know in 30 years' time or so that I'll have my last concert, there's no doubt that the Beethoven violin concerto would be the program that I choose to play."

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
Hebrides Overture, op. 26 (excerpt)

Jörg Widmann (1973-)
180 beats per minute, for string sextet

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Triple Concerto in C Major, op. 56

Igor Levit, piano
Ning Feng, violin
Alexey Stadler, cello
Irish Chamber Orchestra
Conductor: Jörg Widmann

Recorded by DeutschlandRadio Kultur (DLR) in the Heidelberg City Hall on April 6, 2014

Rebroadcasting rights: One broadcast before July 17, 2015

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