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Wed 21.08.19
Bruckner+ Gabrieli

Sinfonieorchester Basel

Ivor Bolton, conductor


Giovanni Gabrieli/Bruno Maderna: In ecclesiis

Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 in C minor, WAB 108


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18.30 h: Introduction to the concert (in German) at the Allgemeine Lesegesellschaft Basel


The “Bruckner+” Cycle in the Basel Minster is drawing to a close. Anton Bruckner’s 7th Symphony finally gained him his long-desired breakthrough as a symphonic composer, but his new symphony initially caused him to fall into a deep depression. Bruckner’s contemporaries were dismissive of the Eighth ; his music was not appreciated. It took numerous suggestions for improvement and three further years of work before the new version of the full-length work was a success.

The ‹+› in this concert stands for Bruno Maderna's arrangement of Giovanni Gabrielis’ In ecclesiis. Maderna’s estate is in the custody of the Paul Sacher Foundation. Maderna founded the “Studio Fonologica Musicale” for electronic music with Luciano Berio in Milan in 1955. However, their compositional creativity drew just as much from existing soundscapes as well. With their arrangements, they wanted to present the originals of the old masters in the new light of modern orchestral sounds. In ecclesiis refers to the original sound space of the Basilica di San Marco and its acoustic conditions, for which Gabrieli wrote the work in Venice.


Wednesday, 21. August 07:30 PM
Basler Münster
Ivor Bolton

Wed 18.09.19
Grooves & Grubinger

Sinfonieorchester Basel
Iwona Sobotka
, soprano
Martin Grubinger, drums
Michał Nesterowicz, conductor


Fazil Say: Concert for drums and orchestra, op. 77
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 4 in four movements for large orchestra and soprano solo in G major


6.30pm: Introduction to the concert (in German) at the Musical Theater (1st floor, not accessible for wheelchairs)


Groovy rhythms from the Middle East meet Mahler’s Heavenly Joy (Himmlische Freuden). The Turkish pianist and composer, Fazil Say, has written a new concert for his friend, the drum virtuoso Martin Grubinger, which will premiere in Basel, Switzerland. Although no Turkish instruments are used, the final movement in particular displays unmistakeable Anatolian characteristics with instructions such as “in Istanbul gypsy style”.

In contrast, while working on his Fourth Symphony, Gustav Mahler dreamed of starting from the beginning once more and drawing inspiration from the carefree and innocent. He avoided Blech's heavy music and instead drew more heavily from Haydn and his own Wunderhornsongs containing chamber music rather than from Wagner and the late Romantic-era composers when putting together his musical ideas. The result is a musical journey from earthly life to the “Heavenly Joy” between paradise and inner torment. In the finale of the Symphony, the Polish soprano Iwona Sobotka sings the song from Heavenly Joy.


Wednesday, 18. September 07:30 PM
Musical Theater Basel
Martin Grubinger

Wed 23.10.19
Prometheus

Sinfonieorchester Basel
Alexander Melnikov
, piano
Immanuel Richter, trumpet
Peter Simonischek, Speaker
Ladies of the Balthasar Neumann Choir
Ivor Bolton
, conductor


Gabriel Fauré: Caligula, op. 52
Dmitri Shostakovich: Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and String Orchestra No. 1 in C minor, op. 35

Ludwig van Beethoven: Excerpts from the ballet music The Creatures of Prometheus, op. 43, with texts by Alain Claude Sulzer


6.30pm: Introduction to the concert (in German) at the Theater Basel


The music becomes more dramatic when Emperor Caligula meets the titan Prometheus.
Fauré wrote stage music for women’s choirs and orchestras for Alexandre Dumas’ tragedy Caligula, who Tchaikovsky is said to have moved to tears during the première. In contrast, in the aftermath of the French Revolution, Beethoven composed electrifying music to the ballet The Creatures of Prometheus (Geschöpfe des Prometheus) – a musical firework filled with hope and expectation. Beethoven could not have known that his “Promethean” hero Napoleon would have himself crowned Emperor only a few years later. The choreography of the narrative ballet was lost. The Basel author, Alain Claude Sulzer, has written his own text version in time for the Beethoven year which was performed first by an actor of the Viennese Burgtheater, Peter Simonischek.

The pianist Alexander Melnikow meets the SOB solo trumpeter Immanuel Richter in a grotesque dialogue between Caligula and Prometheus in Schostakovitsch’s 1st Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and String Orchestra, in which Beethoven quotes are tossed around.


Wednesday, 23. October 07:30 PM
Theater Basel, Grosse Bühne
Peter Simonischek

Wed 04.12.19
A Midsummer Night's Dream

Sinfonieorchester Basel

Frank Peter Zimmermann, violin

Katja Stuber, Soprano
Anne Bierwirth, alto
Johanna Wokalek, speaker
Ladies of the La Cetra Vokalensemble
Ivor Bolton, conductor


Ludwig van Beethoven: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, op. 61
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Overture, op. 21 and incidental music, op. 61, with text intermezzi by Franzobel


6.30pm: Introduction to the concert (in German) in the Foyer at the Theater Basel.


What would Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Sommernachtstraum) be without the stage music of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy? Composed at the request of the Prussian king, the comedy of magic and love translated by August Wilhelm Schlegel conquered one theatre after another in the German-speaking area. Nowadays, Mendelsshohn’s wonderful stage music is seldom performed in its entirety. Everyone is familiar with the Wedding March (Hochzeitsmarsch), perhaps also the Overture or the Dance of the Clowns (Tanz der Rüpel). However, have you ever had the chance to listen to the ELFENChor with its “Eiapopeia (lullaby)”?

The Austrian writer Franzobel has written new text intermezzi. The German (film) actress Johanna Wokalek, accompanied by the fairy-like tones of the La Cetra Vokalensemble, switches seamlessly between the roles of Puck, Titania and Zettl.

“Beethoven moved me almost as much as Shakespeare did,” noted Berlioz in his memoirs. “He opened up a new world to me in the music, just as the poet revealed a new universe in the poetry.” Placing Beethoven on a par with Shakespeare was still the “wildest, craziest notion for Friedrich Nietzsche”. We are excited to see what sort of musical wonders that Frank Peter Zimmermann has in store for us when he plays Beethoven’s violin concerto in front of The Midsummer Night’s Dream.


Wednesday, 04. December 07:30 PM
Theater Basel, Grosse Bühne
Johanna Wokalek

Wed 22.01.20
Femmes fatales

Sinfonieorchester Basel

Alice Sara Ott, piano

Michał Nesterowicz, conductor 


Wojciech Kilar: Orawa for string orchestras

Joseph Haydn: Concerto for Piano (Harpsichord) and Orchestra in D major, Hob. XVIII:11

Georges Bizet: Excerpts from the suites of L’Arlésienne and Carmen

 


6.30pm: Introduction to the concert (in German) in the Foyer of the Theater Basel.


Joseph Haydn’s piano concerts have a tough time nowadays; they are always overshadowed by the works of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. However, it is a completely other story when it comes to the D major Concerto, which became a virtual hit with his Rondo all' Ungarese.

Nowadays, it is hard to imagine that Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen flopped during its premiere in Paris. The music was not at fault but rather the opera text, which was deemed controversial for that time. Bizet seems to have had a penchant for tragic female figures. Carmen drives a succession of men crazy; however, she prefers to keep her freedom, while in L’Arlésienne a young country lad is driven to take his own life as a result of his unrequited love for a young girl. In his work Orawa, the Polish composer Wojciech Kilar was thinking of the river of the same name and the mountains in the Carpathians – it is a type of pastoral symphony for strings from the late 20th century. A journey through Eastern European, Spanish and French sounds with the German-Japanese pianist Alice Sara Ott and conducted by Michal Nesterowicz.


Wednesday, 22. January 07:30 PM
Theater Basel, Grosse Bühne
Alice Sara Ott

Wed 22.04.20
Resurrection

Sinfonieorchester Basel

Christina Landshamer, soprano

Sarah Connolly, mezzo soprano

MDR radio choir

Ivor Bolton, conductor


Giovanni Gabrieli/Bruno Maderna: Canzone a tre cori

Arnold Schönberg: Peace on Earth for mixed chorus a capella, op. 13

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Resurrection Symphony


6.30pm: Introduction to the concert (in German) at the Allgemeine Lesegesellschaft Basel


Gustav Mahler was a huge inspiration to conductor and composer Bruno Maderna. With a wink, he remarked on one occasion that: We will be forever linked by the fact that we both compose “music for conductors”. It is a wonderful experience when Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony (Auferstehungssinfonie) is performed in the 1,000-year-old Basel Minster during Easter to mark the occasion of Mahler’s 100th birthday. As Mahler himself conducted this work in the same place in 1903. In contrast, Maderna arranged Giovanni Gabrieli’s Canzoni for orchestra with the original church interior of San Marco in Venice and its acoustic requirements in mind.

The Zurich poet Conrad Ferdinand Meyer wrote a type of modern hymn on the birth of Jesus in Peace on Earth (Friede auf Erden). The young Arnold Schoenberg set it to music and originally entered his choral work in a competition.


Wednesday, 22. April 07:30 PM
Basler Münster
Sarah Connolly

Wed 06.05.20
Golden Hollywood

Sinfonieorchester Basel

John Wilson, conductor


Alfred Newman: Fox Fanfare

Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Kings Row, Main Title

David Raksin: Laura

Bernard Herrmann: Psycho, Suite for Strings 

Erich Wolfgang Korngold: The Adventures of Robin Hood 

Jerome Moross (1913–1983): The Big Country, Main Title

Max Steiner (18: Gone with the Wind, Suite

Franz Waxman: A Place in the Sun, Suite

Scott Bradley: Tom and Jerry at MGM 

Miklós Rózsa: Parade of the Charioteers from Ben Hur


6.30pm: Introduction to the concert (in German) at the Musical Theater (1st floor, not accessible for wheelchairs)


Virtually no other place epitomises the American dream “of plate washer to millionaire” more strongly than Hollywood. With the merger of films and musicals, a golden age began in Los Angeles in the 1920s. In the last few years, British conductor John Wilson has rescued and painstakingly restored numerous scores from this phase of American film history, which lasted until 1960. However, during this concert he will not take his usual place behind the baton of his world-renowned John Wilson orchestra, with whom he guest stars regularly during the BBC Proms, but instead get the Sinfonieorchester Basel “swinging”. Besides the melodies from famous film classics such as Gone with the Wind, Psycho and Ben Hur Tom and Jerry also needs to take pride of place.


Wednesday, 06. May 07:30 PM
Musical Theater Basel
Gene Tierney

Wed 17.06.20
Bruckner+ Gubaidulina

Sinfonieorchester Basel

Sebastian Bohren, violin

Ivor Bolton, conductor


Sofia Gubaidulina: Offertorium, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra 
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, WAB 109 (fragment) 


6.30pm: Introduction to the concert (in German) at the Allgemeine Lesegesellschaft Basel


“I have done my duty on Earth; I have done what I could.” Just like Ludwig van Beethoven, Anton Bruckner realised ten years before his death that the 9th Symphony would be his last. Nevertheless, he was desperate to complete the Ninth (Neunte). Tragically, it remained a fragment dedicate to “the good lord”. The performance of the 9th Symphony concludes the four-yearly “Bruckner+ Cycle” of the Sinfonieorchester Basel in the Basel Minster.

Deep faith in particular connects Sofia Gubaidulina, who converted from Islam to Christianity, with Anton Bruckner. The Russian composer, whose entire work is now in the Paul Sacher Foundation, was ostracised in the socialist country. After its premiere in Vienna in 1981, the violin concerto Offertorium offered her a way through the iron curtain to the west, and finally to the entire world. The young Swiss violinist Sebastian Bohren is making his début in the Sinfonieorchester Basel with one of the most important violin concerts of the present day.


Wednesday, 17. June 07:30 PM
Basler Münster
Anton Bruckner




Basel Minster Basler Münster Saalplan
Theater Basel Theater Basel
Musical Theater Basel Saalplan Musical Theater Basel


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(3rd category seats in the minster with obstructed views)