J. Sibelius, Symphony No. 7
E. Elgar, Cello Concerto
P. I. Čajkovski, Symphony No. 6, Pathétique
The great works of musical Romanticism always captivate and fascinate the listener. It is therefore not surprising that they continue to form a major part of the standard repertoire of most of the world’s orchestras. On this occasion, we have created a balanced programme of works from the treasure trove of Romantic orchestral music with varying degrees of familiarity, presented in interpretations by Bulgarian conductor Rossen Milanov.
The programme opens with the last of Sibelius’s seven symphonies. The work with which this great creator of Finnish musical identity concluded his symphonic opus also represents one of his successful experiments: he adapted the standard four-movement structure of the symphony to his own expression and created a magnificent symphony in a single movement! One of the (justifiably) most popular and most frequently performed Romantic symphonies is undoubtedly Tchaikovsky’s final masterpiece, the Pathétique Symphony, about which the composer wrote: “It is the best thing I have ever composed or shall compose; I have put my whole soul into this work.”
The two symphonies will be linked by Elgar’s elegiac Cello Concerto, featuring the world-renowned Serbian cellist Maja Bogdanović (1982), who works between Paris and Chicago.
E. Chabrier, Suite pastorale
F. Poulenc, Concert champêtre
C. Debussy, arr. Colin Matthews Three Preludes
C. Debussy, Le mer, trois esquisses symphoniques pour orchestra
We will announce the arrival of spring with a programme that awakens images of nature, from scenes of green, blooming pastures, to the vast and ever restless sea. We have selected works by French composers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as it is the French music tradition that has for centuries been the most inclined towards the picturesque, and towards the “translation” of scenes from nature into musical language.
Suite pastorale by the Romantic composer and admirer of Impressionist painters Chabrier will be followed by Poulenc’s Neo-Baroque and humorous harpsichord concerto, which is also imbued with moments of lyrical melancholy.
We will discover the world of Debussy, the Impressionist painter of sonic landscapes, through arrangements of his piano preludes and his popular “symphonic sketches” brought together in the triptych entitled Le mer (The Sea).
In order to reveal the rich shades of colour our orchestra possesses, the conductor’s baton will serve as a paint brush in the hand of British conductor Catherine Larsen-Maguire (1971), a former bassoonist of the Komische Oper Berlin. In Poulenc’s concerto, we will be joined on stage by the young, but already world-renowned harpsichord virtuoso Jean Rondeau (1991), who won the competition of the festival Musica Antiqua in Bruges at only twenty years of age.
F. Liszt, Von der Wiege bis zum Grabe
U. Pompe, new work
P. Hindemith, Mathis der Maler
German composer and conductor Johannes Kalitzke (1959) studied the piano, conducting, composition and electronic music at the University of Music in his native Cologne. He also studied at the celebrated Parisian music institute IRCAM, where Vinko Globokar was among his mentors. As a composer, he dedicates himself mainly to opera, having created commissioned works for the Munich Biennale and the Viennese Theater an der Wien. Cofounder and leader of the ensemble MusikFabrik, Kalitzke has appeared as a conductor with the Munich Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, as well as with renowned contemporary music ensembles, such as Klangforum Wien, Collegium Novum Zürich and Ensemble Modern. Since 2015, he has been a professor of conducting at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.
We are delighted to entrust him with the leadership of a programme with a somewhat more modern conception. It opens with the last of Liszt’s thirteen symphonic poems, the musical form that this great nineteenth-century musical innovator introduced and developed into one of the most important musical forms of Romanticism.
In the continuation, we will present a new work by Slovenian composer and music pedagogue Urška Pompe, who studied at the music academies in Ljubljana, Budapest and Basel. Since 1997, she has taught solfeggio at the Ljubljana Academy of Music, and in 2007 she received the prestigious Prešeren Prize for her creative work.
The concert will conclude with a programmatic symphony by the German Neoclassical composer Paul Hindemith. Hindemith used the musical material from the symphony Mathis der Maler (Matthias the Painter) in his eponymous opera, which was written at the same time. The protagonist of the opera is the German Renaissance painter Matthias Grünewald.
L. van Beethoven, in 250#
L. van Beethoven, Violin Concerto
L. van Beethoven, Symphony No. 3, Eroica
In this year’s season, we will dedicate three concerts to the music of Ludwig van Beethoven, to whom we pay tribute on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of his birth.
The classicists Haydn and Mozart expressed the musical aesthetics of their time in the most sophisticated form, purifying the musical style of the so-called First Viennese School both expressively and formally. In the nineteenth century, their heritage was accepted and supplemented by musical Romanticism, with Beethoven playing a key role. Beethoven was shaped as an artistic personality during the turbulent political events of the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of nineteenth century (from the French Revolution and Napoleon’s conquests, to the Congress of Vienna), which pushed art from comfortable classical order to the turmoil and (both worldly and personal) drama of Romanticism.
The influence of Beethoven’s music marked almost all European composers well into the twentieth century, extending to the Slovenian cultural space, as well. We will therefore perform two of his most important and popular works: the mighty Third Symphony, Eroica, and the Violin Concerto. The soloist will be the world-renowned virtuoso Stefan Milenković (1977), who still today retains his reputation as the youngest graduate ever of the Belgrade Music Academy. We will be guided through the vastness of Beethoven’s music by Mihail Agafita (1973), the chief conductor of the Moldavian Philharmonic, who has more than seven hundred performances behind him, in concert halls from Moscow to Madrid.
S. Prokofjev, Symphony No.1, Classical
W. A. Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 24
W. A. Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 8
R. Dubugnon, Chamber Symphony No. 2 (Slovenian premiere)
Although clearly imbued with the spirit of our time in terms of style and expression, the music of Swiss composer Richard Dubugnon (1968) is often coloured with a characteristic lightness, an almost rococo picturesqueness. This trait is evident in the work on tonight’s programme, Chamber Symphony No. 2, which will be heard for the first time by a Slovenian audience.
The same elegance and sophistication, through the composer’s distinctive and unique sense of humour, found a place in Sergei Prokofiev’s First Symphony. More than a century after its creation, this symphony – which, due to its more than obvious affinity to Haydn and Mozart’s music, is called the Classical – is still one of the most frequently performed works by the great Russian master of Neoclassicism.
These two symphonies – Dubugnon’s work with its classicistic elegance, and Prokofiev’s Neoclassical masterpiece – will be linked in a unified musical conception with two piano concertos by perhaps the greatest master of sophistication and expressive, attractive melodies, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In both of the concertos, the solo part will be interpreted by South Korean pianist Yeol Eum Son (1986), who attracted international attention with his performance with the New York Philharmonic led by Lorin Maazel in 2004, and who won a silver medal in the Tchaikovsky Competition in 2011. The entire concert will be led by Spanish violinist and conductor Roberto González-Monjas (1988), who studied in Salzburg with Igor Ozim, and who also works as the concertmaster of the Musikkollegium Winterthur Orchestra and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome.
L. Vrhunc, Med prsti zven podobe ii
F. Chopin, Koncert za klavir in orkester št. 1
J. Brahms, Simfonija št. 4
Simfoniki RTV Slovenija radi posegamo po delih znamenitih evropskih skladateljev, enako radi predstavljamo tudi dela slovenskih ustvarjalcev, to pa je pomemben del našega poslanstva. Tokrat bomo predstavili skladbo Med prsti podobe, k snovanju katere je skladateljico in predavateljico na Oddelku za muzikologijo ljubljanske Filozofske fakultete Lariso Vrhunc navdihnila poezija Andreja Medveda.
Močan, a prijeten slogovni kontrast strukturalistični skladbi našega časa bo predstavil Chopinov Klavirski koncert št. 1, eden biserov romantike in Chopinovega zgodnjega opusa. V vlogi solista se bo predstavil svetovno znani hrvaški, v Amsterdamu živeči pianist Dejan Lazić (1977). Odraščal in študiral je v Salzburgu, danes pa nastopa z večino uglednejših evropskih in ameriških orkestrov, dejaven je tudi kot komorni glasbenik in prav posebej cenjen kot skladatelj.
Spored bomo sklenili z zadnjo izmed štirih Brahmsovih simfonij, znano predvsem po zadnjem stavku – mogočni passacaglii, v kateri se še najbolj pokaže vpliv Brahmsovega velikega vzornika, Bacha. Brahmsova Četrta simfonija je izziv, ki ga bomo pogumno sprejeli pod vodstvom Rossena Milanova ter razkazali svojo odličnost in strast do muziciranja
U. Krek, Simfonietta
I. Stravinski, Violin Concerto
J. Strauss ml., Rosen aus dem Süden
R. Strauss, Der Rosenkavalier, suite
The RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra opens the new season of Kromatika with a “classic” of the Slovenian symphonic repertoire, Simfonietta by Uroš Krek, one of the most indispensable figures of Slovenian music in the second half of the last century. Krek was active as a composer, an editor at Radio Ljubljana, a lecturer at the Ljubljana Academy of Music, a member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and a honorary member of the Slovenian Philharmonic. Composed in 1951, Simfonietta earned the composer one of the three Prešeren Prizes he was awarded during his career.
We also enter the new season with the superb Bulgarian conductor Rossen Milanov (1965), with whom you will be familiar from our past seasons. This year, we have strengthened our collaboration with him due to the departure of our longstanding chief conductor En Shao. For Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto, our orchestra under the baton of Milanov will be joined by American violin virtuoso Stefan Jackiw (1985), who showed his talent at a very young age, first performing when he was just twelve years old. Today, he appears regularly in the USA, the UK and Japan.
The programme continues with one of the most popular masterpieces of the Viennese “King of the Waltz”, and concludes with a picturesque concert suite taken from the opera Der Rosenkavalier by one of the most important late Romantic German composers, Richard Strauss.
Soloist: Blaž Šparovec, clarinet
Lucijan Marija Škerjanc, Festive Overture
Claude Debussy, First Rhapsody, L. 116
Aaron Copland, Concerto for Clarinet, Strings and Harp
Richard Strauss, Alpine Symphony, Op. 64, TrV 233
Under the baton of Philipp von Steinaecker, the final concert of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra’s Blue Subscription Series will feature the exceptional Slovenian clarinettist of the younger generation, Blaž Šparovec, winner of the first prize in the Carl Nielsen International Competition in 2019. He also serves as the principal clarinettist of the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne and a lecturer at the University of Arts in Berlin. The concert programme emphasises the colourfulness of the great orchestral composers.
Šparovec will perform the First Rhapsody for clarinet and orchestra by Claude Debussy and the Concerto for Clarinet, Strings and Harp by Aaron Copland, written after a commission from renowned clarinettist Benny Goodman and imbued with jazz rhythms. In the orchestral opus of Lucijan Marija Škerjanc, in addition to symphonies, symphonic poems, suites, concertos and other orchestral compositions, there are also four overtures created between 1925 and 1961, the last of which is the Festive Overture. Symphonic poems take a special place in the creative opus of Richard Strauss. The tenth and last of these works is the Alpine Symphony, which was written in the period 1911–1915 and conceived for a massive orchestral formation. The substantive background of this magnificent work is a picturesque view of a day in the Alps. With this music, the listener travels from the night and the sunrise, through pleasant admiration of the natural environment during the ascent to the summit, all the way to dangerous moments on the wrong path and enduring a storm, and finally to the sunset and into the night. Strauss wrote the work based on his own experience in the mountains, as well as under the influence of the philosophical thoughts of Friedrich Nietzsche.
Blue 8: Alpine Symphony
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Soloist: Nika Gorič, soprano
Slavko Osterc, Mati
Alban Berg, Seven Early Songs
Gustav Mahler, Symphony No 4 in G Major
The concert opens with the last orchestral work by Slavko Osterc, who profoundly marked Slovenian musical creativity as a composer and teacher in the first half of the twentieth century. As a bearer of new artistic outlooks, Osterc was an inspirational musical figure for new generations of composers hungry for modern aesthetic orientations and compositional techniques. Displaying refined emotional depth, the symphonic poem Mati (Mother) was created in 1940, just one year before the composer’s untimely death. Lyrical depth is also a feature of Alban Berg’s Seven Early Songs, written under the influence of the composer’s mentor, Arnold Schoenberg. The songs were initially conceived as lieder with piano accompaniment and were orchestrated some twenty years later. They will be interpreted by the young Slovenian soprano Nika Gorič, who has thrilled the audience of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra on many occasions. In 2017, she was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Commendation for Excellence for the most outstanding student of the year at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she completed her artistic doctorate. She is also a recipient of the Independent Opera Award as well as many other awards and scholarships. Nika Gorič is successfully building a career in the international arena as a guest of the Salzburg Festival, the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Opera Rara of Cracow, and many other notable music institutions. Under the baton of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra’s principal guest conductor, Philip von Steinaecker, Nika Gorič will also perform the soprano solo part in Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No 4, which conveys a child’s view of heavenly life.
Blue 6: Heavenly Life
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Soloist: Sergei Krylov, violin
Lucijan Marija Škerjanc, Gazele, seven orchestral poems
Sergei Prokofiev, Violin Concerto No 2 in G minor, Op. 63
Igor Stravinsky, Petrushka
The Blue Subscription Series will continue in 2020 with a cycle of seven orchestral poems by Lucijan Marija Škerjanc entitled Gazele (Gazelles), thus marking the 120th anniversary of the birth of one of the key figures of Slovenian music. In the previous century, Škerjanc influenced, encouraged and guided musical life in Slovenia in his role as a pianist, conductor, music writer, critic, longstanding teacher of new generations of composers at the Ljubljana Conservatory and Academy, and director of the Slovenian Philharmonic, and, of course, as a prolific composer with a highly lyrical musical language, suffused with impressionist colour. The present programme also includes the music of Škerjanc’s Russian contemporaries.
Sergei Prokofiev’s sonically animated Violin Concerto No 2 will open with a violin solo performed by superb Russian virtuoso Sergei Krylov. In addition to appearing as a soloist with world orchestras, Krylov is active as a chamber musician, collaborating with the most prominent musicians, and as a conductor. Since 2008, he has served as the musical director of the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra. Igor Stravinsky created Petrushka for the Les Ballets Russes ensemble on the initiative of the famous impresario Sergei Diaghilev. The ballet of burlesque scenes depicts the story of the unfortunate hero Petrushka, offering vivid melodious and rhythmic invention with masterful orchestration. The conductor’s baton will be guided by the esteemed Russian maestro Dmitry Liss, the longstanding chief conductor of the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra, an ensemble that he has raised to an enviable artistic level. Since the 2016/17 season, Liss has also been the chief conductor of the South Netherlands Philharmonic.
Blue 5: Love and Music
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