RICHARD WAGNER: THE RING CYCLE (Arr. MARKO ZDRALEK)
RING for children brings Richard Wagner’s massive cycle, composed of four operas, to the Musiikkitalo as a two-hour experience for the whole family.
The show that was seen at the Bayreuth Festival in Germany in 2018 comes to Helsinki as a visually stunning interpretation in Finnish that is sure to thrill both children and adults.
The story of RING features humans and mythological creatures, gods and dwarves, animals and water-nymphs. The story revolves around the mystical Ring of the Nibelung, which is wanted by everyone as it grants the power to rule the world. But can the world and nature be ruled?
Based on the concept created by the artistic director of the Bayreuth Festival Katharina Wagner and Markus Latsch, the work is produced in Finland by Teatro Productions. The cast includes both young up-and-coming and experienced Wagner singers, and they will be accompanied by the Helsinki Chamber Orchestra. The performances will be given under the patronage of bass Matti Salminen.
FRENCH CLASSICS AND RARITIES
FLORENT SCHMITT: SONATINE EN TRIO, OP. 85 FOR FLUTE, CLARINET AND PIANO
ALBERIC MAGNARD: QUINTET FOR FLUTE, CLARINET, OBOE, BASSOON AND PIANO OP. 8
EMMANUEL CHABRIER: LARGHETTO FOR HORN AND PIANO
FRANCIS POULENCÖ: SEXTET FOR PIANO AND WIND QUINTET
From the early decades of the 19th century, Paris gradually turned into the music capital of Europe. As a diverse and cosmopolitan city, it grew into a melting pot of many different cultures and traditions, a milieu that served as inspiration for the composers heard in this program. Although Florent Schmitt was widely performed in his lifetime, and also much admired by such figures as Igor Stravinsky, his music has ended up suffering from neglect. While often showing influences of Wagner and Strauss, his Sonatine en Trio shows the composer in a different light, with clear influences of neo-classicism. The quintet for piano and winds by Alberic Magnard is rightly considered one of the finest French turn-of-the-century chamber works, and clearly presages music by Poulenc, Roussel and many other important French composers. Though nowadays often referred to as a minor figure, the influence of Emmanuel Chabrier on other artists was enormous. A close friend of the painter Édouard Manet and the poet Paul Verlaine, who dedicated a poem to him, he developed a distinct musical language in spite of his limited formal training, and was much admired by Ravel, Debussy, Satie, Stravinsky and others. Whereas the sensual Larghetto shows Wagnerian influences, the charming Idylle points towards the future of French music. Later in life, Francis Poulenc described his first exposure to the Idylle: "Even today I tremble with emotion in thinking of the miracle that was produced: a harmonic universe suddenly opened in front of me, and my music has never forgotten this first loving kiss" Finally, in the Sextet by Poulenc we return to the neo-classical spirit that opened the concert. Full of humour and sarcasm, it remains one of Poulenc's most often performed works. With influences of both jazz and Mozart, it can be seen as a true product of the cosmopolitan milieu of Poulenc's Paris.
ELIEL TRIO: PIANO TRIOS BY BRAHMS AND MENDELSSOHN
FANNY MENDELSSOHN: "OCTOBER" FROM "DAS JAHR"
FELIX MENDELSSOHN: PIANO TRIO NO. 1
JOHANNES BRAHMS: PIANO TRIO NO. 1
The piano trios heard on this program are not only among the most often performed works in the genre, but are also examples of works going through stages of revisions and refinement until reaching their final, ideal shape. In composing the D minor piano trio, Felix Mendelssohn took advice from the fellow composer colleague Ferdinand Hiller and substantially altered the work to make the piano part more prominent. In his role as reviewer, Robert Schumann wrote upon hearing the trio that Mendelssohn was "the Mozart of the nineteenth century, the brightest musician, who most clearly understands the contradictions of the age and is the first to reconcile them." Although originally published just a decade after Mendelssohn's trio, the version most often heard of the Brahms B major trio was revised as late as in 1889. It is among the few Romantic multi-movement works to begin in a major key and end in the tonic minor (another example being Felix Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony). In contrast to these large-scale works, we also hear Fanny Hensel's "October" from Das Jahr, a cycle of pieces inspired by the 12 months of the year, and written 35 years before Tchaikovsky's famous cycle on the same theme. These works were written during Fanny's travels to Italy with her husband, Wilhelm Hensel, just a short time after Liszt journeyed through the same country, as later documented in his Années de pèlerinage.
From Mendelssohn to Mendelssohn
FELIX MENDELSSOHN: SYMPHONY NO. 7
FANNY MENDELSSOHN: PIANO TRIO
JOSEF SUK: MEDITATION ON AN OLD CZECH CHORAL
ANTONÍN DVORÁK: SERENADE FOR STRINGS
Felix Mendelssohn is undoubtedly one of the most well known and influential figures of Romantic Music. From a wealthy and cultivated family, said to be even more gifted as a child than Mozart, the already prolific young composer has always enjoyed a fine reputation, and through the centuries after his death, constantly secured himself a place within the audiences heart and in concert programs. History seems however to have been unfair to his older sister Fanny Mendelssohn, Much less known but said to be equally talented. In a time where women composers were a rarity and undeniably looked over by society as a whole, it is no surprise that despite her skill and craftsmanship, lack of exposure has led to her relative forgetting by the musical scene. Although overshadowed by her younger brother in posterity, it seems that Fanny's influence could have been even greater than what was initally believed: indeed, part of Felix Mendelssohn's iconic string symphonies were composed by Fanny herself. In this program, and in an effort to shed light on unjustly underperformed composers, the Helsinki Chamber Orchestra will be exploring the intricate musical relation between both Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, as well as between two major figures of Czech romantic music, one acclaimed, and one rarely heard of: Antonín Dvořák and Josef Suk.