Göteborgs Konserthus Nagano conducts Schubert

Romantic shimmer with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, conductor Kent Nagano and cellist Truls Mørk.

Concert length: 2 h incl. intermission Scene: Stora salen
370-530 SEK Student 185-265 SEK

This concert is enveloped in a romantic shimmer. Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 begins with a solo for the horn – the instrument that captures the very essence of the Romantic era. Here it provides the tone for the rural nature of the areas around Vienna where Schubert derived his energy and inspiration.

Sadly the composer never actually got to hear his symphony played for an audience. When Robert Schumann discovered the work and brought it to light, Schubert had already been dead for ten years. In the Concert Hall this evening, this work is conducted by Kent Nagano, formerly the principal guest conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.

The programme also features Victoria Borisova-Ollas’ Oh Giselle, remember me… for cello and orchestra, dedicated to this evening’s soloist Truls Mørk. The work draws its inspiration from the romantic ballet about the young peasant girl Giselle, who falls in love but dies of a broken heart.


Get to know Schubert.

Lär känna kompositören Victoria Borisova-Ollas.

Lär känna cellisten Truls Mørk.

Introduction to the concert

Take a seat in the Great Hall one hour before the concert begins and learn more about the music you will soon experience! You will get the stories behind the music, knowledge of the composers and own reflections about the classical pieces. The introduction last for about 30 minutes, it is free and free seating in the hall. Warm welcome!


VICTORIA BORISOVA-OLLAS (f 1969) OH GISELLE, REMEMBER ME… Giselle is one of the most famous ballets in music history. The story is bursting with all kinds of romance such as betrayed feelings, mysterious transformations, jealousy, desire for revenge, constant emotional outbursts and timeless love that overcomes all betrayal and all evil. At the center of all classic sets is of course Giselle herself but also her lover Albrecht. There are also other powerful characters such as Myrthe, queen of the rest* and her numerous corps of wicked maiden spirits who have died in their earthly life in the succession of ill-fated love affairs. All this moves on the stage in a constant bustle. The music, written by Adolph Adam in 1841, is wonderful. Despite all this, it seemed quite obvious to me that this story can also be told with more modern musical means. However, writing another ballet with the same content did not feel so relevant. However, making Prince Albrecht a main narrator this time and letting his voice go to one of the world's most beautiful instruments, namely the cello, felt like a good option. Furthermore, I decided to use an orchestra and let it fill out the story and try to recreate some of the most dramatic scenes of the story. This time, everything starts with Albrecht finding Giselle's grave in the middle of a wild forest. As a self-effacement, she was not allowed to be buried in consecrated ground. He knows that he has grossly betrayed her, she has committed suicide as a result of this betrayal and died in his arms. Time has passed but he cannot forget. He can't forgive himself either. He has come to ask for forgiveness and her spirit is willing to give it to him. Suddenly the rests appear and demand revenge. The dance of death begins. He survives thanks to Giselle's brave resistance. She finally gets to go free and return to Earth. He is condemned to live a long time and remember everything for the rest of his life. Oh Giselle, remember me... for cello and orchestra is a joint commission between the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. The concert is dedicated to the soloist Truls Mørk. *Vila is in South Slavic mythology a female being, corresponding to the Russian rusalka, forest nymph, water nymph or fairy. VICTORIA BORISOVA-OLLAS

Intermission 25 min

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828) SYMPHONY NO 9, "Great" Andante. Allegro, ma non troppo Andante con moto Scherzo: Allegro vivace Allegro vivace Franz Schubert was 31 years old. During his lifetime he had 472 compositions printed. Upwards of half of everything he drew down. Beautifully so, one might think. Until you see what was printed: 56 four-hand pieces, 13 two-hand pieces, 193 dances set for piano, 22 choral songs (out of just over 100). And so 181 songs (= just under a third). Almost all ambitious chamber music is missing, all opera attempts - and all symphonies. With more. Publishers only took the hopefully profitable music. Of course. The Great C Major Symphony was written by Schubert in 1825-1826. He dedicated it to the Society of Friends of Music in Vienna in the autumn of 1827, but they did not venture on this monster. Franz himself was a playing member of this association, but his ability to speak for himself was downright lousy. In fact, he avoided the public eye all his short life and socialized mostly in closed, beautiful-spirited circles. His thick C major score remained in the large library of "Musikvännerna". He died in the fall of 1828. Big brother Ferdinand tried to put order in his music packs he had left behind. He made his own transcription of the C major symphony. In 1839 he was visited by Robert Schumann, a true Schubert enthusiast. He is amazed when he is shown seven symphonies. He ensures - eleven years after Schubert's death - that Mendelssohn receives the C major symphony. He also amazes and hastily performs a performance on March 21 in Leipzig at a subscription concert. He soon receives a thank you from the happy brother Ferdinand who has heard of great success; applause between movements. "You, doctor, have erected a column of honor for the departed. You have freed the ignorant from the blindfold, those who only saw the deceased as a song composer." Schumann gets the opportunity to watch a rehearsal for the second performance in Leipzig late in the autumn of the same year. He writes to his beloved Clara: "Today I have been blissful. At the rehearsal a symphony by Schubert was played. Oh, if you had been there! I cannot describe it. The instruments are like human voices, the whole thing is beyond all bounds spiritual. I became happy; the only thing I could wish for was that you were my wife and that I too could write such symphonies." Later he elaborates eloquently in his own journal about the find; his magazine is there to promote the new, "romantic" music. It was indeed needed in 1839: "He who does not know this symphony does not know much about Schubert... It takes us to a region where we cannot remember being before. Here, in addition to masterful technique, there is life in every fiber, color with the finest shifts, meaning over the whole, sharpness in every detail. Over all: the romanticism that one knows from other Franz Schubert. And then this heavenly length, like a thick novel by Jean Paul in four volumes... In the second movement there is a place where a horn calls from afar, as if from another sphere, it seems to me. Everything listens, as if a heavenly guest crept about the orchestra." Spreading the gospel of this symphony in Europe proved difficult. It was too long. Already Mendelssohn struck out several repetitions. Orchestra musicians here and there refused to play this senselessly tiresome music; it includes long parts with eternally repeated accompaniment figures in the violin parts. (I've heard complaining musicians even in our century…) Schubert's instrumental stuff in general got an astonishingly long sleep. Ingemar von Heijne

Wednesday 22 March 2023: The event ends at approx. 21.30
Thursday 23 March 2023: The event ends at approx. 21.30


The Gothenburg Symphony, called "one of the world's most formidable orchestras" by the Guardian, has toured the USA, Europe, Japan and the Far East and performed at major music centres and festivals throughout the world. Chief conductor is Santtu-Matias Rouvali who started his tenure in 2017. Barbara Hannigan and Christoph Eschenbach are principal guest conductors since 2019. Already at the orchestra's very first years, the great Swedish composer Wilhelm Stenhammar was appointed principal conductor, contributing strongly to the Nordic profile of the orchestra by inviting his colleagues Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius to conduct their own works. Subsequent holders of the post include Sergiu Comissiona, Sixten Ehrling and Charles Dutoit. During Neeme Järvi's tenure (1982-2004), the orchestra became a major international force. In 1997 it was appointed the National Orchestra of Sweden. During his celebrated tenure as music director (2007-2012), Gustavo Dudamel took the Orchestra to major music centres and festivals in Europe, making acclaimed appearances at BBC Proms and Vienna Musikverein. The list of prominent guest conductors has included Wilhelm Furtwängler, Pierre Monteux, Herbert von Karajan, Myung-Whun Chung, Herbert Blomstedt and Sir Simon Rattle. The orchestra also runs extensive concert projects for children, and regularly releases digital live concerts free on gsoplay.se. The orchestra has been involved in many prestigious recording projects, the latest one the complete Sibelius Symphonies with Santtu-Matias Rouvali for Alpha Classics. Earlier, the orchestra has issued over 100 recordings on BIS, Deutsche Grammophon, Chandos, Farao Classics and several other labels. The Gothenburg Symphony is owned by the Region Västra Götaland.

American Kent Nagano has been artistic director of the Hamburg State Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra since 2015. He was 2006-2020 chief conductor of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and 2013-2019 he was first guest conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. Together with them, Nagano carried out projects such as a tour to China and the performance of Sibelius' seven symphonies in celebration of the composer's 150th birthday. With the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Kent Nagano performed symphonies by Mahler and Beethoven, operas by Wagner and concert series with music by Dutilleux and Boulez. As a guest conductor, Kent Nagano has appeared with several of the world's leading orchestras. Among them are the Munich Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich and the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome. An important period in Kent Nagano's career was his time as artistic director and chief conductor of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin from 2000-2006. He was then appointed the orchestra's honorary conductor. Kent Nagano has also been chief conductor of the Los Angeles Opera. He spent his first professional time in Boston working at the opera and as assistant conductor to Seiji Ozawa with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Kent Nagano's success in the US led to European appointments: artistic director of the National Opera of Lyon (1988-1998) and of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester (1991-2000). Kent Nagano has made a large number of recordings with the orchestras in Montreal and Berlin. Together with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, he has recorded Richard Strauss' Alpensymfonie, Ein Heldenleben and Tod und Verklärung on two CDs (Farao Classics) and vocal works by Hillborg, Gefors and Boldemann with Anne Sofie von Otter as soloist (DG). A critically acclaimed edition was Mussorgsky's opera Boris Godunov, which was recorded live with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony Choir and soloists (BIS).

Norwegian Truls Mørk's captivating performances, where fiery intensity is combined with integrity and sensitivity, have established him as one of the foremost cellists of our time. In the 2016-2017 season, Truls was Artist in Residence at the Gothenburg Symphony. He is a celebrated artist who has appeared with leading orchestras such as the Orchester de Paris, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig. In North America, he has collaborated with, among others, the New York Philharmonic, the orchestras in Philadelphia and Cleveland, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Truls Mørk has a great interest in contemporary music and he has given more than 30 premieres, among them Rautavaara's Towards the Horizon with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and John Storgård's, Pavel Haas' Cello Concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic and Jonathan Nott, Penderecki's Concerto for Three Celli and Orchestra with The NHK Orchestra in Tokyo and Charles Dutoit and Haflidi Hallgrímsson's cello concerto, a joint commission by the Oslo Philharmonic, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Among his many disc recordings for Virgin Classics, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon and other labels are most of the major cello concertos. In 2019, Victoria Borisova-Ollas composed her cello concerto Oh Giselle, remember me with a dedication to Truls Mørk.

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