Fury

Friday 20.11.2020 19.00 Season concert
From 29/23/12 € Espoo Cultural Centre
Platinum 2020-2021 Gold 2020-2021
Buy tickets
Friday 20.11.2020 19.00 From 29/23/12 € Espoo Cultural Centre
Platinum 2020-2021 Gold 2020-2021

Having Pekka Kuusisto at the helm guarantees that the programme will be at the cutting edge. Wielding a baton instead of a violin, he conducts ia. the work of Brett Dean, And once I played Ophelia, for the first time in Finland. Vocal virtuoso is Danae Kontora.

The program is subject to change.
We kindly ask you to check up-to-date information: Special arrangements in Autumn 2020

 

Artists

Program

Open rehearsal 10:00-13:00

Tickets from 5 €, Lippupiste

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.

Pre-concert talk

18:15-18:35 Tapiola Hall

Kimmo Korhonen introduces the programme.

Anna Clyne

Sound and Fury

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player / That struts and frets his hour upon the stage / And then is heard no more. It is a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing.”
In one of the most famous quotes in world literature, the title character in Shakespeare’s grand tragedy Macbeth, having attained power through assassination, voices his disillusionment with life upon hearing of the death of his wife, Lady Macbeth. These lines formed the impetus for Anna Clyne’s orchestral work Sound and Fury (2019), whose other source of inspiration was Haydn’s Symphony no. 60, ‘Il distratto’ (meaning ‘the absent-minded one’ or ‘the confused one’).
Born in the UK but now resident in New York, Anna Clyne likes extra-musical impulses and considers them essential to her musical invention. However, purely musical impulses are just as important, whether derived from individual works or from stylistic approaches. Her music contains both softly sonorous soundscapes and complex, scintillating virtuoso textures. Anna Clyne emerged with a vengeance in the 2010s, being commissioned by a variety of top-quality ensembles around the world. Sound and Fury was jointly commissioned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Lyon and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, and the premiere was conducted by Pekka Kuusisto in Edinburgh in November 2019.
The Haydn dimension developed in the course of writing the piece, as Clyne analysed the core elements of Haydn’s ‘Il distratto’ Symphony and drew on them in her music, stretching, dissecting and repeating them. The Haydn Symphony has six movements, and Clyne’s piece is similarly divided into six main sections, albeit played without a break. The result is a work at times passionately swirling and at times meditatively subdued. Towards the end, an actor recites the soliloquy of Macbeth referred to above. (This may also be a pre-prepared recording, or it may be whispered by the musicians in the ensemble.) The final gesture is an aleatoric section where the musicians are invited to play a “wild version” of an extract of their choice from the Haydn Symphony.

Brett Dean

And once I played Ophelia, Finnish premiere

Australian composer Brett Dean began his musical career as a violist and was engaged by the Berlin Philharmonic in 1985. Towards the end of the 1980s, he began to write music, and in 1999 he set out as a self-employed composer. He has since become one of the most frequently performed composers of our time. He has not completely abandoned the viola, however: he performs chamber music and has also appeared as soloist in his own Viola Concerto.
One of Dean’s successes is the opera Hamlet (2013–2016), based on the play by Shakespeare. During its lengthy genesis, he wrote three ‘spinoff’ works, the first of which was his second String Quartet, And once I played Ophelia (2013), which includes a soprano soloist in a prominent role. He adapted the work for soprano and strings in 2018.
The text for And once I played Ophelia was written by Matthew Jocelyn, who also supplied the libretto for the opera. The text is made up of lines spoken by Ophelia and of comments made by Hamlet, Hamlet’s mother Queen Gertrude and Ophelia’s father Polonius about Ophelia and to Ophelia. This creates a varied portrait of Ophelia with both outside and inside perspectives. Ophelia is often regarded as a meek and weak character, but Jocelyn and Dean saw her as someone who drowned (accidentally or deliberately) perhaps because of the pressures created by the words aimed at her rather than because of losing her mind.
Dean’s multi-faceted work is divided into five sections played without a break. The opening section is nervously and dissonantly rough and edgy. An incisive tremolo sequence leads to an extremely quiet, mysterious second section that appears as fragile as glass but grows to a melodic culmination only to subside again. The third section is a fast, scherzo-like but harsh section that morphs into a mysterious, almost frightening pianissimo sequence (“I shall obey, my lord”). The stagnant fourth section sets Gertrude’s description of Ophelia’s death in compelling tones, while the final section becomes a farewell and a lullaby for Ophelia.

Louise Farrenc

Symphony no. 3 in G minor op. 36

Up until only a few decades ago, women faced an uphill battle fraught with prejudice and practical obstacles if they wished to pursue a career as a composer. However, there have been a few glorious exceptions to this rule. French composer Louise Farrenc created an extensive career as a distinguished Professor of Piano at the Paris Conservatoire, and her compositions were admired by prominent composers such as Schumann and Berlioz. After her death, her music was largely forgotten, but with its recent rediscovery she has been re-established as one of the finest proponents of the Classical-Romantic instrumental music of her era.
Farrenc began her composing career with piano works, and these make up the bulk of her output in the 1820s and 1830s. In the 1830s, she ventured into chamber music and wrote her first orchestral works, two overtures. She created an extensive chamber music output in the 1840s, and at this time she also wrote her three Symphonies (1842, 1845 and 1847), the last of which is often regarded as the greatest.
Farrenc’s Symphony no. 3 is stylistically located somewhere between Beethoven and Mendelssohn. Her penchant for forceful expression emerges in the very first movement, which opens with a short introduction before erupting into the tumultuous fast main section. The music does have a lyrical dimension, but its principal mood is one of defiance, punctuated by incisive syncopations and heightened in the faster coda.
The slow movement is aesthetic and balanced at first, but the idyll acquires sombre and even ominous tones as the music progresses. The scherzo is a brisk and bubbly creation reminiscent of Mendelssohn, balanced by a calmer Trio section. The finale revisits the defiance of the opening movement and does not relent into a major key even in the rugged coda. Nevertheless, the dominant mood is not tragic or hopeless but, for all its sombre colours, simply bursting with energy.

Afterglow

Tapiola Hall

Pekka Kuusisto, violin & Musicians of Tapiola Sinfonietta

Felix Mendelssohn: String Quintetto nr 2 B flat major op. 87

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