Göteborgs Konserthus VÄGUS: Sibelius Symphony No. 2 & Fors Majeure

Event has already taken place. Irresistible with the Västra Götaland Youth Symphony conducted by Kim Phipps.

Concert length: 1 h 30 min incl. intermission Scene: Stora salen
160 SEK Children upp till 12 år 80 SEK

Event has already taken place

The Västra Götaland Youth Symphony plays classical music in a way that leaves no one out. The evening begins with the stage concert Fors Majeure, which deals with water in all its forms. After intermission Sibelius’ irresistible Symphony no. 2. All under the direction of Kim Phipps.

fem unga musiker som spelar sina instrument framför ett blått tyg som fladdrar i  vinden

The scenic concert Fors Majeure invites you to a musical journey through the wonderful world of water. Water in various forms has inspired composers and classical pieces throughout the ages – such as Felix Mendelsohn’s overture The Hebrides, where the waves of the Atlantic whip against sharp rocks. In Smetana’s tone poem Moldau and Strauss’s waltz An der schönen blauen Donau, the river rushes along the slopes. Not to mention Hugo Alfvén’s beautiful, sparkling Summerrain and Whitacer’s tropical Cloudburst.
We get a taste of all this when VÄGUS young musicians guide us with the usual mix of facts, imagination and humor.

Be a part of VÄGUS

Famous pieces or grand symphonies – in the hands of VÄGUS, everything is performed with the unmistakable passion and energy that have become their special characteristics. The orchestra consists of around 80 young musicians from all over Västra Götaland aged 13-20, and for many VÄGUS will be a memory for life. Keen to join in? Read more about how you can become part of the orchestra


Handel - from Water Music Mendelssohn - from The Hebrides Strauss II - from An der schönen blauen Donau Smetana - from Moldau Elgar - Enigmavariations nr XI "G.R.S." Britten - Storm from Peter Grimes; Four Sea Interludes Alfvén - Summerrain Whitacre - Cloudburst (lyrics: Octavio Paz) Miranda - How Far I'll Go from Moana (arr: H. Torolphi)

Intermission 25 min

Allegretto Tempo andante ma rubato Vivacissimo - Finale: Allegro moderato After completing his higher studies in Berlin and Vienna, Sibelius wrote the choral work Kullervo on his return to Helsinki. The work's success earned him the position of Finland's leading composer, a position he retained for the rest of his life. A series of symphonic poems based on themes from Finnish mythology followed, and Sibelius came to play an important role in shaping Finnish national identity. He also became the driving force in the development of the Nordic symphony. Sibelius had worshiped Tchaikovsky since childhood, but his schooling had forced him into a more Germanic tradition. Tchaikovsky's influence is nevertheless fully audible, not least in the first two symphonies. Especially in the second, like the idol, he builds up highlights with broad melodic lines and slowly shifting harmonics, and lets the music grow organically. The motifs are often built up gradually, where the theme repeats itself towards its final goal. This method he came to develop, and mastered it fully in the later third symphony. Like Beethoven, he renews his personal compositional technique and style with each new work. The second symphony was begun in the spring of 1901 during a year's stay with the family in Rapallo outside Genoa, Italy. It is partly inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy but also by the fate of Don Giovanni in Mozart's opera of the same name. This gives it a dramatic-heroic character, which is clearly audible not least in the last movement. In the slow second movement, he even directly borrows the Commendatore's theme from Don Giovanni and also uses the same dark key that is the basic key of the opera, D minor. But the symphony also carries traces of Italy's warmth and sun in its tonality, and with a little imagination you can also sense an undertone of longing for the homeland of Finland, for the bright summer nights and the lifelong love of nature in the Nordics. Despite Sibelius' habit of breaking down his themes into smaller components, something that sounded unusual at first to contemporary listeners, the symphony was nevertheless received with great enthusiasm. The work's underlying streak of patriotic pathos appealed to the Finns who thirsted for freedom from Tsarist rule. Friend and conductor Robert Kajanus said of the work that he heard "the most heartbreaking protest against all the injustices that threaten our time" but also that it promised new possibilities in the future. Officially, Sibelius opposed this interpretation, possibly out of fear of censorship and reprisals, but it is very possible that the intention was there anyway. In the finale, an echo from Mussorgsky's opera Boris Godunov is heard in the viola and cello part, from the scene where the monk Pimen enumerates the crimes of Tsar Boris. The ending is characterized by brilliance and rapture, and the music is lifted to bright heights - an ending that has few musical counterparts. Andreas Konvicka

Wednesday 27 September 2023: The event ends at approx. 21.00


Västra Götalands Ungdomssymfoniker

Kim Phipps conductor

Charlotta Sairio director

Questions? Contact the ticket office
Read more in the magazine

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