CANCELLED: Matinée 3

Thursday 18.2.2021 14.00
Thursday 18.2.2021 14.00


The programme features two evocative works written about 200 years apart. The concert begins with Martinů´s attractive work Sinfonietta “La Jolla”. Joseph Haydn’s Symphony no. 90 is a treasure trove of innovative musical insights and prominent solos for wind instruments.

Clemens Schuldt, conductor
Jukka Rantamäki, host

Bohuslav Martinů: Sinfonietta “La Jolla”
Joseph Haydn: Symphony no 90 in C major C

NOTE! The concert will be given if it is possible with the restrictions at hand. Please explore our safety practices:   Let´s stay safe

The program is subject to change, even in the last minutes. We kindly ask you to check up-to-date information:




Bohuslav Martinů

Sinfonietta La Jolla

Born in what is now the Czech Republic, Bohuslav Martinů was one of the many European artists that emigrated from Europe to the USA to escape the Second World War. When his homeland fell into the Eastern bloc led by the Soviet Union after the war, in 1948, he decided to stay permanently in the New World. In the event, however, he returned to Europe in the 1950s, living mainly in France and Italy. Martinů enjoyed living in the USA. He had teaching jobs, and his works were performed reasonably often. During his years in the USA, Martinů wrote music mainly in a Neo-Baroque style that was appreciated by local audiences.
One of the most attractive works in Martinů’s extensive output of nearly 400 works is Sinfonietta La Jolla, commissioned by the music association of La Jolla, a district of the city of San Diego, in 1950. The commission asked for a melodic, accessible work, and Martinů delivered. Although he wrote the work in the hectic atmosphere of New York, it can well be imagined to illustrate the happy life of the seaside town of La Jolla near the Mexican border. The work is scored for a small orchestra, including a piano, which Martinů often included in his orchestral works but which here is in an obligato role more prominent than usual.
The three-movement Sinfonietta is one of the last works that Martinůn wrote in the Neo-Baroque style. The first movement emerges as vivaciously energetic and brisk, and soon a soaring melody appears over the rhythmic movement, as so often with Martinů, cleverly syncopated to keep it independent from the basic pulse. The melodic element is heightened in the slow movement, first in the simple piano melody appearing over the steady string accompaniment and then as a nostalgic violin tune and a chromatic theme on winds leading to an intense culmination. In the final movement, the Baroque beat of the opening movement returns, though the rhythmic energy gives way to a melodic passage before the crisp and concise conclusion.

Joseph Haydn

Symphony no. 90 C

Although Haydn spent much of his career writing music in isolation from the musical world at large at the court of Prince Esterházy, his music began to be known around Europe early on. He began to expand his symphonic empire in the 1780s, his employer having granted him permission to write symphonies for outside commissioners. It was at this time that he wrote a large number of pieces for French performers, first the Paris Symphonies (nos. 82–87) in 1785–1786 and then the next five symphonies in two batches. The Paris Symphonies were commissioned by the distinguished French concert institution Le Concert de la Loge, one of whose founding members, Comte Claude-François-Marie Rigoley d’Ogny, personally commissioned Haydn’s Symphonies nos. 90–92 (1788–1789).
Symphony no. 90 may not be one of Haydn’s best-known works, but it boasts original and creative musical solutions. In the first movement, Haydn established unity between the slow introduction and the fast main section by taking one of the motifs in the introduction and using it to begin the main subject of the main section. The second subject is performed first on a flute, then on an oboe, and overall there are plenty of solos and independent wind parts in the Symphony. The slow movement follows a favourite structure of Haydn’s: variations on two alternating themes. The differing characters of the themes lends character to the movement: the first is in a bright F major, the second in a dramatic F minor. Here, too, there are prominent solo passages: a flute solo in a variation of the major-key theme and a cello solo in a variation of the minor-key theme.
The Minuet is in keeping with the French ideals of elegant ceremony, perhaps in a deliberate nod to the Comte d’Ogny. An oboe solo takes centre stage in the pastoral Trio section. The energetic finale is built around a single theme. For the end, Haydn has one more surprise up his sleeve: a false ending, a four-measure pause and then a transition to D flat major and an adventure through an unusually expanded coda back to the terra firma of the home key, C major.

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