Ludwig van Beethoven, Overture to the ballet The Creatures of Prometheus, Op. 43
Richard Strauss, Horn Concerto No. 2 in E flat major
Antonín Dvořák, Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From the New World”
The programme opens with an early work by a herald of numerous innovations in music, Ludwig van Beethoven. This season marks the 250th anniversary of the great composer’s birth, as well as the 200th anniversary of his membership of the Philharmonic Society. In 1801, when he wrote the ballet music The Creatures of Prometheus, he was already aware of the deterioration of his hearing and sensed his tragic fate of a forced retreat into silence, which he was able to deal with thanks to his inexhaustible creative zeal.
An interesting coincidence connects Beethoven’s ballet with the composer of the second work on the concert programme, concerning the legendary Slovenian dance couple Pia and Pino Mlakar: it was on the recommendation of Richard Strauss that, in 1938, the couple were able to stage Beethoven’s ballet in the opera house in Strauss’s birthplace, Munich. Strauss wrote his Second Horn Concerto four years later, and some four decades after completing his First Horn Concerto. Written in Vienna in the tense atmosphere of anti-Semitism and the maelstrom of war, the work is dedicated to the memory of his father, the superb horn player Franz Strauss. At the present concert, the soloist will be Jože Rošer, the principal horn player of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra. The programme concludes with Symphony “From the New World” by the Czech master Antonín Dvořák, which was written under the influence of various musical cultures in America, while the composer was serving as the director of the National Music Conservatory in New York.
The Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra will be conducted for the first time by the experienced symphonic and operatic conductor Steven Sloane, who has been the principal guest conductor and artistic adviser of the Malmö Opera since the 2018/19 season. In the 2020/21 season, he will also take over the musical leadership of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.