Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra plays in Bucharest together with conductor Gustavo Gimeno and violinist Alena Baeva.
Ligeti Concert Românesc 12 min
GYÖRGY LIGETI (1923-2006)
Adagio non troppo
Molto vivace. Presto
György Ligeti was one of the great innovators within 20th century music, but during the study years and the early career at home in communist Hungary there was no place for avant-garde currents.
He started composing early, the first piano pieces were written by a 14-year-old, and before he ran away by the end of 1956 he had managed to create around 100 works in traditional style. Not infrequently there were adaptations of folk music for choir, chamber ensembles or orchestra.
When he arrived in Vienna in December 1956, he blossomed into a total break with tradition and became such a vital vitamin injection in the European music life that his early production was not given a thought. It is only in recent years that the qualities of his youthful works has been discovered. Right by the time of his defection was his Concert Românesc under printing at a publisher in Budapest, but the work was not published then. It was treated as lost for a long time.
Now however, this work, composed as early as 1951 has been rediscovered, with roots in Bartók's folk music processing tradition, and it has proven to be a colorful and lively music in four movements, filled with Romanian rhythms and melodies in a fresh little dissonance and outgoing style.
Enescu Caprice Roumain 26 min
The Romanian George Enescu has a legendary shimmer about him. He was an undoubted child prodigy, as well as a violinist, composer and later conductor. Enescu was born in the latter half of the 19th century, and not only his work as a musician, but also as an educator makes him link a bygone era with our own. The stories about his life are many (and colourful), but the musical fragment of his life depicted here is in many ways a story that begins at an Enescus symposium in 1992, a lecturer claims to have seen the finished manuscript of Enescus (unknown at the time) violin concerto. Violinist Sherban Lupu hears about it, and asks composer and musicologist (and Enescu connoisseur) Cornel Taranu to investigate. If there is something Enescu's promoters have always lacked, it is precisely the violin concerto that he never wrote, despite a rich list of works and, of course, being a mythical violin virtuoso.
Taranu begins a methodical detective work. It turns out that the manuscripts are far from complete, and the extent of revisions spans almost 20 years. Some parts Taranu finds more or less in complete orchestration, but often a side is missing here and a side there. Regardless, Taranu decides to make an attempt to recreate the missing pages. Taranu has reconstructed several other of Enescu's unfinished works. What we hear is truly a Romanian caprice, the folkloric and the rhapsodic are palpable. The accumulation of techniques and innovations in the soloist part is striking, linking the 19th century that Enescu was born in and shaped by with our time. Enescu's playful, acrobatic violin finds its way back to his Romanian roots, embraces and sings out its whimsical and passionate musical joy, but through this introspection we get to share sounds that still strike us as newly discovered.
Tchaikovsky Symphony No 4 42 min
Andantino in modo di canzona
Allegro con fuoco
In correspondence as well as a for Tchaikovsky unusual online commentary, both implicit and explicit connections between this fourth symphony and Beethoven's fifth, Symphony of Fate, are suggested. In Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony, it sometimes seems as if he is trying to bring everything together, both the absolute of the music and the programmatic, and this is already audible in the first movement's architectural use of the fanfare theme that surrounds the otherwise inserted classical sonata form. The structural thereby gets a certain programmatic design, but within the form, the motivic work is found and listen (!) here to how Tchaikovsky uses the orchestra as a design of the room. The sonorous qualities of the shift of instrumentation provide a for the time unusual, and for posterity remarkable, use of instrumentation as a form of variation, one in which the ear and the room, not the word, are supreme.
And it is here – in the alternation between rhythmic and instrumental variation – that the rhapsodic becomes increasingly apparent: the story the symphony portrays, regardless of whether it is with just the musical aspect or with an idea of ??an underlying narrative, takes on an increasingly clear sonorous garment in Tchaikovsky.
The second movement's simpler, more melancholic feeling, and the third movement's dance-like display of pizzicato shock may seem parenthetical after the weight of the first movement, but in miniature the connection between motivic processing and the exploration of space through orchestration is found here as well. Finally, in the fourth, bombastic, movement, everything ties together. The rhapsodic, in the folk-inspired melodies are modulated and thrown around in the orchestral clusters, and finally we are back in the fate theme, and the coda can triumphantly bring us home.
Friday 8 September 2023: The event ends at approx. 21.30
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1905 and currently consists of 109 musicians. The orchestra is based in Gothenburg Concert Hall – a gem of functionalism on Götaplatsen square that has enchanted music lovers since 1935. Wilhelm Stenhammar was the orchestra’s Chief Conductor from 1907 until 1922. He gave the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra a strong Nordic profile and invited his colleagues Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius to collaborate with the orchestra. Under the leadership of Chief Conductor Neeme Järvi between 1982 and 2004, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra undertook a number of international tours and made a hundred or so album recordings while establishing itself as one of Europe’s foremost orchestras. In 1997 the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra received the title of the National Orchestra of Sweden.
Since season 2017-2018 Santtu-Matias Rouvali is Chief Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. Since season 2019-2020 Barbara Hannigan is Principal Guest Conductor. Christoph Eschenbach was also Principal Guest Conductor of Gothenburg Symphony in the years 2019-2022 – together they formed a strong three-leaf clover consisting of three completely different types of artists. We are also extremely proud to be an official partner of soprano Barbara Hannigan’s mentor initiative Equilibrium, with focus on young singers and musicians who are just beginning their careers.
Sten Cranner is the orchestra’s CEO and Artistic Director, while Gustavo Dudamel holds the title of Honorary Conductor and Neeme Järvi that of Principal Conductor Emeritus. Region Västra Götaland is owner of the orchestra. The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra works regularly with conductors such as Herbert Blomstedt, Joana Carneiro, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Christian Zacharias and Anja Bihlmaier.
Gustavo Gimeno conductor
Spanish conductor Gustavo Gimeno is Music Director of the Orchester Philharmonique du Luxembourg – a title he has held since 2015 – and of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra where he began in 2020-2021. Teatro Real in Madrid has appointed Gimeno as its next music director, effective from the 2025-2026 season. Last season, the Toronto Symphony celebrated its 100th anniversary with Gimeno and soloists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Yuja Wang, Yefim Bronfman and Jean-Guihen Queyras and embarked on its first tour with Gimeno.
With the Orchester Philharmonique, he has toured Switzerland, Austria, Hungary and, for the first time, South Korea. He and OPL have visited many of Europe and South America's most prestigious concert halls; soloists with whom Gimeno has shared the stage include Daniel Barenboim, Gautier Capuçon, Anja Harteros, Leonidas Kavakos, Bryn Terfel, Yuja Wang, Frank Peter Zimmermann and Martin Grubinger. A highlight has been performances of all of Beethoven's piano concertos with Krystian Zimerman.
Gustavo Gimeno is a highly sought-after symphonic guest conductor worldwide. Highlights from past seasons include the Berliner Philharmoniker, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Wiener Symphoniker, Orchester National de France, Sveriges Radio Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra and several American orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Gimeno lives in Amsterdam and is regularly invited to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
The concert is Gustavo Gimeno's debut with the Gothenburg Symphony.
Alena Baeva violin
Alena Baeva is considered one of the most exciting and versatile soloists active on the world stage today. European highlights include appearances with Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Gothenburg Symphony, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National d’Île de France, Orchestre National du Capitôle de Toulouse, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, and in recital at the Wigmore Hall, whilst in Asia she performs regularly with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and the NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, amongst others. She makes her North American debut in the main subscription series of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in the 2023-2024 concert season.
Baeva has the pleasure of working with renowned maestros as Teodor Currentzis, Charles Dutoit, Gustavo Gimeno, Marek Janowski, Paavo Järvi, Vladimir Jurowski, and Tomáš Netopil. Chamber music holds a particularly special place in her musical life, where she enjoys collaborations with esteemed artists as Martha Argerich, Yuri Bashmet, Daishin Kashimoto, Misha Maisky, Lawrence Power, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Tabea Zimmermann, and the Belcea Quartet. Her regular sonata partner is the celebrated Ukrainian pianist Vadym Kholodenko. She also enjoys a long-standing and rewarding relationship with the Orchestra of the XVIII Century.
Alena Baeva took her first violin lessons at the age of five under renowned pedagogue Olga Danilova, before moving to Moscow at the age of ten to study. She took lessons with Mstislav Rostropovich and Boris Garlitsky, in Switzerland with Seiji Ozawa, and in Israel with Shlomo Mintz. At only 16 years of age, Baeva won the Grand Prix at the 12th International Henryk Wieniawski Competition (2001). Following this, she went on to take the Grand Prix at the Moscow International Niccolò Paganini Competition (2004).
Alena Baeva resides in Luxembourg and plays on the “ex-William Kroll” Guarneri del Gesù of 1738 on generous loan from an anonymous patron, with the kind assistance of J&A Beares.
The concert is her debut with the Gothenburg Symphony.