Which orchestra do you think of when you hear the word “orchestra”?
For example, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, a world-famous orchestra that everyone knows, or the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, which has won the first place in the rankings by experts, are often mentioned. Today, I would like to focus on the "Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra", an orchestra that is not that well-known in Japan, even though it is a wonderful orchestra.
With the following knowledge, you may be able to get more into classical too, right?
1. Where is it based?
The "Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra" (hereinafter abbreviated as Concertgebouw Orchestra) is based in the Netherlands. The headquarters is located in the capital, Amsterdam.
Therefore, the old name is the "Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra".
2. Let's take a quick look at its history!
It has a long history of about 120 years having been founded in 1888, so here are just a few excerpts. At the same time that the Hall called Concertgebouw opened in 1888, the "Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra" was established as its exclusive orchestra. By the way, “Concertgebouw” is Dutch and means "concert hall". And it is the main stage for the Concertgebouw Orchestra, and has remained intact as it was before the wars. One of many notable points in its history is that it premiered "Ein Heldenleben" composed by Richard Strauss.
Mengelberg, the permanent conductor of this era, brought stardom to the Concertgebouw Orchestra throughout the world. Gustav Mahler also often stood on the podium, and the tradition continued down through to his disciples, and the world's first "Mahler Music Festival" was held here, establishing the Concertgebouw Orchestra x Mahler set.
Even today, the Concertgebouw Orchestra No. 18 is known as Mahler's symphony. In 1988, the Queen gave the orchestra the title "Royal" to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding, so it was renamed "Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra".
3. What kind of orchestra is it?
In a nutshell, it's a "too-great" orchestra. Its sound has long been praised by critics.
All parts have an international reputation, but especially the brass section is praised, and often called the "golden sound" or "golden brass". It can be said that it is a very popular orchestra, as it always ranks in the top 3 in the orchestra rankings of music papers & magazines around the world.
Although they are rarely invited to Japan, compared to the Berlin Philharmonic or the Vienna Philharmonic, they have their own sound and amazing technical capabilities, and perform a variety of pieces centered on German music. In addition to Mahler, they specialize in Beethoven and perform complete symphonies live.
What did you think?
Share the Concertgebouw Orchestra with as many people as possible will make me happy. Actually, I also wanted to touch on successive conductors and Japanese musicians who are currently active members of this orchestra, but doing so would make this too long, so I'll end it here.
After all, you won’t be able to understand the music unless you listen to it yourself. If you are interested in the Concertgebouw Orchestra, please check it with your own ears. I think you will be overwhelmed by its splendor. Thank you very much.