Subscription A - Season 2022/23
For the exquisite taste in music: 8 concerts on Wednesday
Frank Peter Zimmermann, violin
Robert Trevino, conductor
Igor Strawinsky (1882–1971):
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major (1931)
Sergei Rachmaninow (1873–1943):
Symphony No. 2 E minor, op. 27 (1908)
6.30 pm: Concert introduction with Lea Vaterlaus
The concert will be followed by a public critique session with Benjamin Herzog (moderator) in the Musiksaal.
When the famous piano concertos by Sergei Rachmaninoff are performed, pianists knowingly refer to them as 'Rach 2' or 'Rach 3'. To mark the 150th anniversary of the composer's birth, this concert programme includes a work that is equally indebted to the musical melancholy of late Romantic Russia. Rachmaninov's 2nd Symphony arose like a phoenix from the ashes of the disastrous premiere of his 1st Symphony. Plagued by a deep crisis of meaning, Rachmaninoff found seclusion and tranquillity in Dresden in 1906/07 in order to dare to tackle the supreme discipline of the symphony again after twelve years. The result is a work between transfigured melancholy and life-affirming euphoria - a mixture that the Russian composer maintained even during his forced exile in America and in Weggis, Lucerne.
Switzerland was also a place of refuge for Igor Stravinsky, and he regularly stayed on Lake Geneva from 1910 onwards. The composer slipped into many different style dresses during his creative period - for his only violin concerto, for example, he explored baroque forms. It was premiered in 1931 at the Berlin radio station - as one of the first live broadcasts of the Reichsrundfunkgesellschaft of the time.
Mittwoch, 25. Januar 19:30
Lawrence Power, viola
Domingo Hindoyan, conductor
Anders Hillborg (*1954):
Concerto for Viola and Orchestra (2021, Swiss premiere)
Anton Bruckner (1824–1896):
Symphony No. 9 D minor, WAB 109 (1894)
6.30 pm: Concert introduction with Benjamin Herzog
"I have done my duty on earth; I did what I could." Ten years before his death, Anton Bruckner had already suspected that the Ninth Symphony would be his last, as it had been for Ludwig van Beethoven. And yet he harboured a fervent desire to complete the Ninth. Tragically, it remained a fragment dedicated "to the dear God".
But before that, the programme includes the Swiss premiere of Anders Hillborg's Concerto for Viola and Orchestra with the English violist Lawrence Power.
Mittwoch, 19. April 19:30
Behzod Abduraimov, piano
Pierre Bleuse, conductor
Manuel de Falla (1876–1946):
Suite No. 2 from The Three-Cornered Hat (1919)
Pjotr Iljitsch Tschaikowski (1840–1893):
Concerto for piano and orchestra No. 1 in B minor, op. 23 (1874)
Claude Debussy (1862–1918):
Images pour orchestre (1912)
Maurice Ravel (1875–1937):
6.30 pm: Concert introduction with Lea Vaterlaus
An apotheosis of dance from Gigues, Bolero, Rondes de Printemps and Jota surrounds the 1st Piano Concerto by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky this evening. French conductor Pierre Bleuse brings a colourful potpourri of orchestral music from French elegance and Spanish passion to Basel with his debut with the Sinfonieorchester Basel. Manuel de Falla composed his The Three-Cornered Hat in 1919 for the London-based Ballets Russes. The use of Spanish rhythms and instrumental colours brings the work close to Debussy's Images pour orchestre and Ravel's Boléro. Ravel remarked about his most successful work to fellow composer Arthur Honegger: "I have made only one masterpiece, that is the Boléro; unfortunately it contains no music." He is not entirely wrong: a single rhythmic model in 15 minutes - repeated 169 times. The ecstatic force that emerges from this is unique.
Mittwoch, 24. Mai 19:30
Alexander Melnikov, piano
Ivor Bolton, conductor
Johannes Brahms (1833−1897):
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra Nr. 1 d minor, op. 15 (1857)
César Franck (1822–1890):
Symphony D minor, FWV 48 (1888)
6.30 pm: Concert introduction with Hans-Georg Hofmann
Neither as a piano sonata nor as a symphony did Johannes Brahms' latest composition seem to be properly suited in the spring of 1854. Overnight, so to speak, he finally came up with the idea of reworking his draft into a piano concerto. To Clara Schumann he wrote: "Think what I dreamed that night. I would have used my unsuccessful symphony for my piano concerto and played this. I was quite enthusiastic." The concerto was received less enthusiastically at its second performance in Leipzig on January 27, 1859. Even the composer, sitting at the piano himself, remarked that his concerto which "shone brilliantly and decisively here - flunked."
It was only at an advanced age that César Franck composed his first and only symphony, which ingeniously combines French charm with absolute music à la Beethoven. Audiences and critics reacted with irritation at the premiere. It was discussed whether the composer belonged more to the camp of Wagner's programme music or to that of Brahms and the followers of absolute music. Franck, whose 200th birthday is being celebrated this season, did not live to see his work triumph in the concert halls: One year after its premiere in 1889, he died in Paris as the result of a traffic accident.
Mittwoch, 28. Juni 19:30