Patricia Kopatchinskaja, violin
Pekka Kuusisto, violin
Ivor Bolton, conductor
Geigy Festival Concerto. A Fantasy on Basel Themes for Basel Drum and Large Orchestra
Gemini, Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra (World Premiere), Commissioned by the Sinfonieorchester Basel
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, op. 68
With a carnival fantasy for Basel drums and large orchestra, we are testing the acoustics of the reopened Stadtcasino at the start of the season. Rolf Liebermann composed his Geigy Festival Concerto in 1958 in memory of Johann Rudolf Geigy-Gemuseus, who first founded a company in Basel in 1758 that began trading in «materials, chemicals, dyes».
In her commissioned work Gemini, the violinist and composer Helena Winkelman, who lives in Basel, literally combines two very different types of violin playing. Patricia Kopatchinskaja, who plays barefoot, meets the Finnish violin bard Pekka Kuusisto.
Johannes Brahms also made frequent stops in Basel on his travels in the Bernese Oberland. His first Symphony was premiered in 1876 in the opening year of the Stadtcasino. Brahms had spent 21 years composing on his symphonic first work. Compared to this, four years of casino reconstruction are no more than a footnote in music history.