• By Christoph König
  • 12 Nov, 2011

Rapport is pivotal to any successful symphony concert – particularly the rapport between the conductor and orchestra, as well as to the works being interpreted.

In his Houston Symphony début Thursday night at Jones Hall, up-and-coming Dresden-born conductor Christoph Koenig certainly demonstrated that quality in his command of the orchestral forces and his interpretive response to the three compositions – especially the program’s marquee title, Brahms’ Symphony No. 2.

The performance conveyed the vigour and assurance of the work, a felicitous creation that seems to reflect a world in balance. It’s Brahms at his most spirit-nurturing, and under Koenig’s careful leadership, the orchestra gave full play to both its inspired subtleties and its unfettered zest.

Youthful and often grinning, Koenig appeared to enjoy the enterprise, his movements on the podium reflecting his connection to the music, whether swaying gracefully in lyrical moments, or excitedly bouncing along with rhythmic surges.

The Brahms style and sound prevailed throughout in the warmly sonorous playing of the strings, the sparkling and buoyant woodwinds, the rich, round, mellow tone of the brass. Koenig brought energy and intelligence to the interplay, as in the first movement’s development, melodic ideas moving from section to section, instrumental “voices” responding, one to another.

The adagio shone with shadowy beauty, Koenig bringing broad sweep to the proud recapitulation of its main theme late in the movement. The third movement’s gentle minuet charmed, bubbling to life with percolating woodwinds against pizzicato strings. After its deceptively quiet start, the final movement hurtled forward with impressive drive and volume, stating its key themes emphatically and racing to its exciting yet exactingly realized finish.

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By Christoph König 07 Nov, 2017
Christoph König makes his début at the Musikverein in Vienna with the Wiener Concert-Verein in a programme featuring Gerhard Oppitz in Beethoven`s Piano Concerto no. 2, Rossini Il signor Bruschino, and Schubert Fifth Symphony. Find more information about the concert here .
By Christoph König 07 Nov, 2017
This week Christoph König returns to Warsaw conducting the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra - Filharmonia narodowa in a very diverse programme containing Respighi`s Belfagor Overture, Kancheli`s Styx for Viola Solo, Choir and Orchestra featuring Lawrence Power (viola), and Strauss` Also sprach Zarathustra. Find out more about the prgramme here .
By Christoph König 12 Oct, 2017

Another very special week, Christoph König conducts Richard Strauss´ less performed "Aus Italien" in two performances with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra . Kristóf Baráti plays Bruch Violin Concerto. Please read more about the programme  here .

By Christoph König 06 Oct, 2017

Much venerated WQED-FM's artistic director Jim Cunningham talks to Christoph König about his concerts with the  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra  this week at Heinz Hall. Please see the full video here .

By Christoph König 03 Oct, 2017

Christoph König conducts the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra  in a programme of Rachmaninov Symphony No. 2, Mussorgsky Scherzo in B-flat Major (Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Premiere, and Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2, featuring the fabulously gifted 2010 Chopin Competition winner Yulianna Avdeeva.  More info .

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