The Cleveland Orchestra is one of America’s great ensembles. After an absence of almost a decade it returns to the Proms under Music Director Franz Welser-Möst for the first of two concerts.
If Brahms’s stormy and intricately structured First Symphony sees the composer at his most serious and structurally ambitious, his Academic Festival Overture is a rare example of his levity – an elegantly constructed musical thank-you-letter to Breslau University, taking its themes from boisterous student songs.
At the centre of the programme is a concerto commissioned by the Cleveland Orchestra for its principal flautist Joshua Smith. Rejecting anything too grandiose, young German composer Jörg Widmann has opted for a suite of dance movements – playful, referential and imaginatively disorienting.