BEETHOVEN VIII

Friday 27.3.2020 19.00 season concert 6
from 25/19/11 €
Buy tickets

BEETHOVEN VIII

Friday 27.3.2020 19.00 season concert 6
from 25/19/11 € Espoo Culture centre
Buy tickets
Friday 27.3.2020 19.00 from 25/19/11 € Espoo Culture centre

Everything is about Beethoven in this concert. Widmann and Strauss borrowed themes from his symphonies, and Witt’s rarely performed ‘Jena’ Symphony also has Beethovenian elements in it. The Tapiola Sinfonietta’s own Principal Oboe Anni Haapaniemi gives an elegant and nuanced performance of the Oboe Concerto of Richard Strauss, and the programme concludes with the playful and joyful Symphony no. 8 by Beethoven.

Artists

Program

open final rehearsal

10.00-13.00

Come and see how the orchestra works to prepare the evenings concert. The open final rehearsals begin at 10 am and end at 1 pm. You may also leave at the break. An introduction is given in the foyer of the Espoo Cultural Centre at 9.50 am. Admission free.

pre-concert talks

18.15-18.45

Jörg Widmann

Con brio

Jörg Widmann is one of the most interesting and most widely performed German composers of his generation. Although he often employs the means of modern music – dense sound fields, piercing discords and spacious, fragile textures – he has never wanted to sever his links with tradition.

Con brio is a conscious nod by Widmann to Beethoven but also a manifestation of a Beethovenian spirit on a wholly new level. The work is scored for the same Classical orchestra for which Beethoven wrote his symphonies. The sound world is rough and modernist, but there are also allusions to Beethoven’s music, both as fleeting details and more generally for instance in the form of rhythmic elements borrowed from him. The words ‘con brio’ appear in many of Beethoven’s performance markings, but they may also allude to Widmann’s deconstructive composition strategy that burns brightly until “nothing is left at the end, just the bones,” as he has said.

Shortened from Kimmo Korhonen's work presentation
Translation: Jaakko Mäntyjärvi

Friedrich Witt

Symphony in C major, ‘Jena Symphony’

The history of music is littered with stories about works being attributed to the wrong composer.
The modern history of the ‘Jena Symphony’ begins in 1909, when German musician and musicologist Fritz Stein found the orchestral parts of an anonymous symphony in the archives of the concert society of the town of Jena. He declared that the work had been written by Beethoven as a young man, and prominent publisher Breitkopf & Härtel printed the work in 1911.

The actual composer of the work was discovered when Haydn scholar H.C. Robbins found copies of the same work bearing the name of Friedrich Witt in another archive. The earlier misattribution was entirely understandable, given that Witt was a contemporary of Beethoven, born in the same year, no less. He was a composer and cellist in Würzburg and attained a moderate reputation in Germany in his day.

Witt’s ‘Jena Symphony’ is a four-movement traditional Classical symphony. The first movement begins with a slow introduction, followed by a lucid fast section. The second, melodic slow movement is given a darker shading by the middle section in a minor key. The third movement is a minuet, but the tempo marking, unusually, is Maestoso. The most captivating movement of the symphony is the vivacious Haydnesque finale, irresistible in its energy and joy of life. The work shows that Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven were not the only composers in the Classical era with the ability to write appealing music.

Shortened from Kimmo Korhonen's work presentation
Translation: Jaakko Mäntyjärvi

Richard Strauss

Oboe Concerto

Strauss’s Oboe Concerto, was completed in Switzerland in October in the year 1945. The work was premiered in Zurich in February 1946. Two years after the premiere, Strauss revised the finale of the work for instance by augmenting the coda.

Some of Strauss’s late works reflect the tragedy of war nakedly and devastatingly; Metamorphoses for 23 solo strings (1945) is a case in point. In the Oboe Concerto, by contrast, Strauss seems to have been determined to forget the horrors of war and to seek communion with a bygone age of innocence, in the Classical or early Romantic era.

The Oboe Concerto is one of Strauss’s most charming and elegant works. The soloist is constantly called upon to demonstrate prowess in playing soaring and bubblingly ornamented melody lines. The work has three movements played without a break (fast–slow–fast), the last one being in two distinct sections as a dance-like rhythmic texture appears halfway through it.

Shortened from Kimmo Korhonen's work presentation
Translation: Jaakko Mäntyjärvi

Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphony no. 8 in F major op. 93

Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony is to all appearances harking back to the world of Haydn’s symphonies. Like the ‘Pastoral Symphony’, which is also in F major, it is humorous and cordial in its mood, but this surface level conceals an interesting and by no means conventional structure, particularly in the finale. The overall design is also quite original. It was premiered in Vienna in February 1814.

The first movement is a conventional opening movement in sonata form. It has recently been discovered that Beethoven apparently initially intended this material to go into the first movement of a piano concerto. Instead of a slow movement, the second movement is a playful Allegretto scherzando. Anton Schindler, Beethoven’s secretary in his later years, claimed that the movement was based on a canon written by Beethoven to celebrate Mälzel’s invention of the metronome, but this has since proven to be a bogus claim. For the third movement, Beethoven abandoned his usual scherzo for an archaic, stately minuet.

The last movement is the longest and most substantial. Its coda breaks all conventional bounds, accounting for nearly half of the movement’s duration – although it should be said that the structure of the movement has also been interpreted as containing two developments and two recapitulations. In a quintessentially Beethovenian surprise, a prominent unexpected D flat interrupts the main subject. In the coda, that D flat is reinterpreted as a C sharp that takes the music into the wildly distant key of F sharp minor before crashing back equally abruptly into F major.

Shortened from Kimmo Korhonen's work presentation
Translation: Jaakko Mäntyjärvi

afterglow in tapiola hall

21.00

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