Fri, Nov 25|
Brahms' Last Symphony: Stavanger Symfonieorkester
Time & Location
Nov 25, 2022, 7:00 PM GMT+1
Stavanger, Sandvigå 1, 4007 Stavanger, Norway
About the Event
Witold Lutosławski (1913-94) visited Stavanger in his time as a composer profile during the Chamber Music Festival. His piano concertofrom 1987/88, thus belongs to his late works. In the same year that the piano concerto was created, he stated that "music belongs to the arts which do not do justice to the visible, but which should rather convey something of the invisible world, an ideal world, a world that we yearn for". The piano concerto was commissioned by the Salzburg Festival and is dedicated to the great Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman. Lutosławski does not experiment with the genre here; rather, we are reserved for the great piano concertos of Brahms, Chopin, Rachmaninov and Bartók. We are, so to speak, taken on a journey into the past, but without any nostalgia. The piano definitely plays the main role in this four-movement work. It begins with the purest tonal magic, then swings up with fierce gestures. The piano leads the way to the next movement where piano and orchestra seem to chase each other,
The Fourth Symphony by Johannes Brahms (1833-97) is often seen as a kind of summary of what he had achieved in terms of composition. His late style is characterized by the principle of continuous variation and reverts to handed down form models. It was this that prompted Arnold Schönberg to write about "Brahms the progressive". In this symphony from 1885, we can hear the Phrygian church key (from the Middle Ages), ancient turns and baroque forms. Everything is stylized into a fine-meshed weave. There is something elevated and almost brooding in the tonality that resembles his Ein deutsches Requiem . The last movement is a pure variation piece; 30 variations on a theme Brahms took from Bach's cantata BWV 150, Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich. The baroque chaconne form merges here with the classical sonata form. Tempo shifts between the variations ensure that there is movement in the dense web of voices.