ROMANTIC

Friday 31.1.2020 19.00 season concert 3
from 25/19/11 €
Buy tickets

ROMANTIC

Friday 31.1.2020 19.00 season concert 3
from 25/19/11 € Espoo culture centre
Buy tickets
Friday 31.1.2020 19.00 from 25/19/11 € Espoo culture centre

The January evening is filled with Romantic music performed by the Tapiola Sinfonietta under conductor Daniel Blendulf. Katy Woolley, one of the most dazzling young virtuosos on her instrument, appears as guest soloist in Richard Strauss’s Horn Concerto. The concert concludes with Brahms’s Symphony no. 1, which took more than 20 years to write from initial sketches to completed work.

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

Kimmo Korhonen

Thomas Adès

Living Toys

British composer Thomas Adès is one of the most interesting and prominent composers of our time. His artistic profile is diverse to say the least; he is profoundly aware both of tradition and of the capabilities of contemporary musical expression, although he has never shown an interest in the constructivist trends of the 20th century. The core of his output is formed by his three operas and major orchestral and vocal works. Adès is not only a composer but also a conductor, pianist and Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London; from 1999 to 2008, he was artistic director of the Aldeburgh Music Festival, founded by Benjamin Britten.

Living Toys (1993) for a chamber ensemble of 14 musicians is one of Adès’s earliest works to have established itself in the concert repertoire. Lasting about 15 minutes, it is divided into five descriptive sections separated by ‘additional sections’, the titles of which are anagrams of each other. The programme idea underlying the music was to identify with the dreams of a small child: to become a hero, to dance with the angels and oxen, to die as a hero in space and be buried as a hero. Coming across as a sort of ‘Heldenleben for kids’, the music passes through surreal and distorted moods, evoking a kaleidoscopic image of a child’s imagination.

The work begins in an unreal atmosphere, as a solo horn is backlit by a halo of bright sounds in the upper register (‘Angels’). The second section was inspired by an ancient species of bull now extinct (‘Aurochs’), which engages the child in a bullfight punctuated by claps and castanets. This gives way to the soaring melodic interlude in ‘BALETT’. A jazzy section featuring piccolo trumpet and percussion (‘Militiamen’) leads to the slow, meditative world of outer space (‘H.A.L.’s Death’). Another interlude, the rhythmically complex ‘BATTLE’, follows. The work ends up in a realm of ghostly, slow-moving music (‘Playing Funerals’), followed by the concluding ‘TABLET’.

Kimmo Korhonen

Richard Strauss

Horn Concerto no. 1 in E flat major op. 11

Richard Strauss wrote two Horn Concertos, which more or less bookend his extensive career. He completed the first at the early age of 18 in 1883 and the second at the age of 78 in 1942, in his last creative period known as his ‘Indian summer’. His Horn Concerto no. 1. It is written in a traditional Classical-Romantic style. Although it does not yet show an independent artistic idiom, it is a balanced work, one of the earliest artistically merited works that Strauss wrote, and it has become probably the most widely performed 19th-century horn concerto.

The concerto has three well-balanced movements, played without a break. The lucid and energetic opening movement is fanfare-like and brisk on the one hand and suavely melodic on the other. The slow movement is a solemn and introvert mood piece, interrupted by a more powerful middle section. Strauss used motif unity to create coherence: the rising triad motif that appears as an accompaniment in the slow movement is derived from the first movement, and it recurs as an energy-generating element in the fast finale.

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

Johannes Brahms

Symphony no. 1 in C minor op. 68

The symphonic legacy of Beethoven cast a shadow over the entire 19th century, but none felt the obligation and challenge imposed by it as keenly as Johannes Brahms. It was partly out of fearful reverence for his great predecessor and partly out of self-criticism that Brahms kept a respectful distance to the genre for a long time. He abandoned his first attempt in the genre in the mid-1850s He ventured into symphony territory for a second time apparently in the early 1860s. He then left the material for many years, returning to it in the 1870s and finally completing his First Symphony in 1876.

The first movement opens with an introduction that seems carved in granite, establishing an atmosphere of tragedy and defiance. Although the introduction was actually written later than the bulk of the first movement, it has close motif links to the fast section. The dramatic, severe first movement is propelled by tight, almost clenched rhythms incorporating Beethoven’s famous ‘Fate’ motif (three short notes and one long one).

The middle movements are more restrained and lighter in tone than the flanking movements. The tranquil, balanced and melodic slow movement is in the very distant key of E major (as indeed in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 3 in C minor). The third movement is not a scherzo as with Beethoven but a calmer, intermezzo-style Allegretto e grazioso.

After these two quieter movements, the symphonic drama returns with a vengeance in the slow introduction to the finale. The fast section begins with a hymn motif that is a thinly veiled reference to the theme of the finale of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the ‘Ode to Joy’. The finale is a dramatic but ultimately victorious struggle, featuring the return of the motifs and horn theme from the introduction. In the coda, Brahms steps up the tempo as if to underline the moment of triumph. Perhaps these measures reflect some of the personal triumph that Brahms must have felt after completing the work, which due to its lengthy gestation process must have been quite a burden to shoulder.

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

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