Marking the 70th anniversary of Reading’s twinning with Düsseldorf

To mark the 70th anniversary of the twinning of Reading and Düsseldorf, APO will be putting on two performances of Robert Schumann’s Fourth Symphony in its revised version of 1851, when the composer lived in Düsseldorf. It was not a happy time for Schumann, who attempted to take his life by throwing himself into the Rhine, only to be rescued by fishermen and see out the rest of his days in an asylum. The music takes us into this turbulent and tortured mind palace, but there is contrast with some wonderfully lyrical, tender moments, before the positive energy of the finale.

The first performance was during our concert on Saturday 25th March. APO is named after the founder of Reading Blue Coat School, Richard Aldworth, in recognition of the wonderful support the school has shown throughout the last 15 years. Two of the school’s many talented musicians joined the orchestra as soloists for the evening. Charlie Rothwell poured his heart into the first two movements of the Elgar Cello Concerto, with Alex Turvey providing an impressive conclusion to the first half with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Trombone Concerto. The programme opened with the ominous chords of Finlandia, Sibelius’s portrait of the nationalistic struggle against Imperialist Russia in his native Finland at the turn of the 19th century.

The second performance of Schumann’s Fourth Symphony will be in July, as part of a special event at Reading railway station – more details to follow very shortly!