Maxim

Friday 18.9.2020 19.00 Season concert
29/23/12 € Espoo Cultural Centre
Platinum 2020-2021 Silver 2020-2021
Friday 18.9.2020 19.00 29/23/12 € Espoo Cultural Centre
Platinum 2020-2021 Silver 2020-2021

Pianist and conductor Maxim Emelyanychev offers up tantalising treats such as Haydn’s expressive ‘Drum Roll’ Symphony, the enchanting ‘Dixtuor’ by Jean Françaix and the poetic ‘Petite Suite’ by Debussy. There is variety in the lineup too, ranging from chamber ensemble to full orchestra.

We kindly ask you to check up-to-date information: Special arrangements in Autumn 2020

The program is subject to change.

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.

Pre-concert talk

18:15-18:35, Tapiola Hall

Kimmo Korhonen will present the concert.

Joseph Haydn

Symphony no. 103 in E flat major ‘Drum Roll’

Haydn’s career as a symphonic composer culminated with his two trips to London (1791–1792 and 1794–1795), for which he wrote his last 12 magnificent Symphonies (nos. 93–104). Haydn went to England at the invitation of German-born violinist and concert promoter Johann Peter Salomon, who had settled in London. In early 1795, however, Salomon was obliged to give up his concert series, and the last three of Haydn’s London Symphonies were premiered at opera concerts organised by violinist Giovanni Battista Viotti. Symphony no. 103, premiered in March 1795, is one of Haydn’s finest, with several curiosities in its structure and material. It is also an example of how Haydn used folk music in his symphonic writing.
The first movement begins with a slow introduction, like all except one of Haydn’s London Symphonies. In this case, the introduction begins, unconventionally, with an isolated timpani roll, which gives the Symphony its sub-title. The introduction contains a sombre reference to the Medieval Dies irae tune, which also makes a cameo appearance in the fast section of the movement. All the key thematic elements – the theme of the introduction and the main and second subjects of the fast section – are included in the tripartite development. Towards the end of the movement, Haydn surprises the listener with a brief repeat of the opening drum roll and Dies irae motif.
The slow movement is a set of variations on two closely related themes, the first in C minor and the second in C major. Both are derived from eastern European folk music. The first major-key variation includes an extensive violin solo that Haydn wrote specifically for Viotti. The folk music elements in the Minuet are from Tyrol.
The finale is practically monothematic but is nevertheless one of the richest concluding movements that Haydn ever wrote. It opens with a four-measure motto on horns that then becomes the accompaniment for the main subject introduced by the first violins. The music is spirited (it is, after all, marked ‘Allegro con spirito’) and also displays a touch of contrapuntal brilliance.

Jean Françaix

Dixtuor

French composer Jean Françaix got off to a flying start. He was born into a family of musicians: his father was a musicologist and director of the Le Mans Conservatoire, and his mother was a voice teacher. Jean began writing music at the age of six and was only nine when he published his first work. Maurice Ravel remarked to his parents: “I note in his talent that which is the most fruitful thing for an artist: curiosity.” The young Jean went on to study with Nadia Boulanger, one of the most distinguished composition teachers of the 20th century, who regarded him as one of her most talented students.
Françaix developed into a competent composer who never achieved greatness but developed an airy and expressive Neo-Classical idiom. He was an excellent pianist and always wrote music that was instrumentally idiomatic and respectful of the performers. He maintained his creative powers up until the last year of his life and left an extensive output including five operas, ballets, orchestral music, several concertos, a great deal of chamber music, piano works and vocal works.
The Dixtuor is a relatively late work by Françaix, dating from 1987, but it comes across as the music of a young man. The title refers to an ensemble of ten musicians (in English, a decet or a tentet), in this case a combination of a traditional string quintet and a traditional wind quintet. The first of its four movements begins with a slow introduction whose lyrical-pastoral mood is heightened with the entry of wind solos. Typically for Françaix, the introduction leads into a breezy and lucid main section where instruments and sections engage in close dialogue and occasionally blend into a unified ensemble. The slow movement features soaring melodies in a gentle melancholy mood, while the third movement is a playful and airy scherzo with a quirky trio section. The work concludes with a busily energetic finale.

Claude Debussy

Petite suite, orchestrated by Henri Büsser

Debussy is commonly regarded as the very personification of Impressionism in music, although he himself was not fond of this epithet, considering himself more akin to the Symbolists. His Petite suite (1888) for piano four hands is an early work, preceding the emergence of what we regard as Impressionism in his music. The Symbolist connection, on the other hand, was very relevant at the time. Only a couple of years earlier, poet and essayist Jean Moréas had published the ‘Symbolist manifesto’ in Le Figaro, where the poets previously regarded as “decadent” were now rebranded as “Symbolists”. One of the most influential and appreciated of them was Paul Verlaine, and it was poems from the collection Fêtes galantes (1869) that inspired the first two movements of the Petite suite, besides a large number of other works by Debussy.
Today, the Petite suite is principally known in the version orchestrated by Debussy’s friend Henri Büsser in 1907. Debussy was pleased with Büsser’s work and in a letter commended him for his “ingenious orchestration”, and indeed Büsser did sensitively capture the nuances and moods of Debussy’s idiom.
The four movements of the Petite suite are elegant miniatures. ‘En bateau’ is a dreamy piece that, in the spirit of the eponymous poem by Verlaine, evokes the mood of a party in a boat on a lake as they glide “over the waves of dreams”. ‘Cortège’, featuring twisty melodies, was inspired by a poem where a society lady at a party retreats upstairs with a dressed-up monkey and a page boy. The remaining two movements are unrelated to any Verlaine poems but are no less evocative. ‘Menuet’ is gracious and melancholy, blending elegance with veiled nostalgia in a touching and beautiful way. ‘Ballet’ is one of Debussy’s most care-free creations, a vivacious piece that evokes the mood of dance halls through the waltz in its middle and its concluding section.

Afterglow

Tapiola Hall

Maxim Emelyanychev and musicians of the Tapiola Sinfonietta

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Quintet in E flat major for piano and winds KV452

One of Mozart’s special skills as a composer was his talent for writing for wind instruments. At a time when strings formed the backbone of the standard orchestra and winds were mainly used for colour and doubling, Mozart wrote significant and independent parts for winds, creating a unique poetry of tones and nuances in scoring for winds in his symphonies and piano concertos.
When Mozart began to write a Quintet for piano and four wind instruments in early 1784, he set himself a considerable compositional challenge. As far as we know, no one had ever tried out this combination of instruments, which is not an easy one to control in terms of sonority and intonation. We must remember that horns at the time were ‘natural horns’, with a much more limited number of available pitches than modern horns. The clarinet, meanwhile, was a relatively new instrument and had not yet fully established itself.
Mozart pulled off this achievement masterfully, writing a work that gave each of the instruments important things to express, true to the spirit of chamber music. The first movement begins with a slow introduction, and in the following fast main section, the piano often adopts a soloist role as in a concerto, which is scarcely surprising considering that Mozart was at his most prolific in writing piano concertos at the time – he wrote six of them in 1784. The balance shifts in the slow movement, where the wind instruments take centre stage and the piano retreats to the background. The work concludes with a lively rondo finale that concludes with a collective cadenza for all five musicians (Cadenza in tempo).
Mozart played the piano part at the premiere of the Quintet in Vienna in April 1784. He wrote to his father in Salzburg: “The Quintet was received with the most enormous applause. I consider it the finest work I have ever written.” Beethoven became one of the Quintet’s admirers, eventually writing his own Quintet op. 16 (1796–1797) with the same unconventional instrumentation.
Text: Kimmo Korhonen

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