Subscription B - Season 2022/23
For music lovers: 6 concerts on Thursday.
Babette Mondry, organ
Pekka Kuusisto, violin
Ilker Arcayürek, tenor
Ivor Bolton, conductor
Lili Boulanger (1893–1918):
Psaume 24 for choir, organ and orchestra, LB 36 (1916)
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958):
The Lark Ascending for violin and orchestra (1914)
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) /
Anders Hillborg (*1954):
Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639,
arranged for solo violin and strings
(2015, Swiss Premiere)
Franz Liszt (1811–1886):
A Faust Symphony in three character pictures (1854)
The concert will be followed by a public critique discussion with Benjamin Herzog (moderator) in the Hans Huber-Saal.
The concert will be recorded by Radio SRF2 Kultur and broadcast in the show ‹Im Konzertsaal›.
The myth of Doctor Faust, with his greed for knowledge and power and his lust for amorous escapades, has not lost its fascination to this day. His inability to enjoy the moment of happiness leads to the devil's pact with Mephisto. Franz Liszt composed an entire symphony about it, without claiming to set Goethe's literary model to music. In three large movements characterising Faust, Gretchen and Mephisto, he wanted to make the spiritual content of Faust audible.
The 24th Psalm by Lili Boulanger is the miraculous work of a 22-year-old composer who unfortunately died far too early. And with the Song of the Rising Lark by Ralph Vaughan Williams, written almost at the same time, Pekka Kuusisto will make his first appearance of the season as 'Artist in Residence' of the Basel Symphony Orchestra.
Donnerstag, 01. September 19:30
Nicolas Altstaedt, violoncello
Krzysztof Urbański, conductor
Anders Hillborg (*1954):
Concert for violoncello and orchestra
(2020, Swiss Premiere)
Dmitri Schostakowitsch (1906–1975):
Symphony No. 10 E minor, op. 93 (1953)
Anders Hillborg, 'Composer in Residence' this season, comes from electronic music, has already composed for film, pop and choir and finally found his way to orchestral music through the works of György Ligeti. In his Cello Concerto, the soloist finds himself dangerously close to the abyss: with long ascending melodic lines, the solo cello winds its way out of the intimacy of the instrumentation and the icy soundscape. After the work's world premiere in Antwerp, the German cellist Nicolas Altstaedt now gives the concerto its Swiss premiere in Basel.
If Dmitri Shostakovich's 10th Symphony, premiered in December 1953, had been published a year earlier, his career would probably have been at stake. The symphony was part of a whole collection of 'serious' works that had accumulated in Shostakovich's drawers until Stalin's death in March 1953, awaiting their premiere or the end of their performance ban. In the Tenth, sombre treatments of the dictatorial Stalin era can be heard before Shostakovich hammers his own trademark - the initials D-S-C-H - into the score as a sequence of notes in the final bars of the symphony.
This concert will feature a discovery programme, the schedule of which will be announced in advance in the programme magazine.
Donnerstag, 24. November 19:30
Yeol Eum Son, piano
Mark Padmore, tenor
Ivor Bolton, conductor
Wolfgang Amadé Mozart (1756–1791):
Concert for piano and orchestra B flat major, KV 450 (1784)
Gerald Finzi (1901–1956):
Dies Natalis, cantata for solo voice and string orchestra, op. 8 (1939)
Robert Schumann (1810–1856):
Symphony N0. 2 C major, op. 61 (1846)
Mozart spent a third of his life travelling: 3720 days, a clever mind has calculated. The six-year-old child prodigy celebrated Christmas 1763 at the invitation of the French King Louis XVI in the palace grounds of Versailles. Twenty years later, the genius, who had meanwhile settled in Vienna, struggled restlessly from one concert to the next, composing day and night. The Piano Concerto in B flat Major K. 450, which Mozart himself premiered, also dates from this period.
The English composer Gerald Finzi set texts by the 17th century poet Thomas Traherne to music in his Christmas cantata Dies Natalis. They subtly reflect the joy of the Christ Child.
Robert Schumann's 2nd Symphony was composed during the Christmas season of 1845. Clara Schumann wrote to Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: "My husband delighted and surprised me at Christmas with the sketches for a new symphony; he is full of music now, so that there is really nothing to do with him."
Donnerstag, 22. Dezember 19:30
Frank Peter Zimmermann, violin
Robert Trevino, conductor
Igor Strawinsky (1882–1971):
Concerto for violin and orchestra D major (1931)
Sergei Rachmaninow (1873–1943):
Symphony No. 2 E minor, op. 27 (1908)
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.
Donnerstag, 26. Januar 19:30
Rachel Nicholls (Brünnhilde), soprano
Simon O’Neill (Siegfried), tenor
Wiebke Lehmkuhl (Erda), alt
Derek Welton (Der Wanderer), bass-baritone
Sir Mark Elder, conductor
Richard Wagner (1813–1883):
Siegfried, WWV 86 C, 3rd Act (1871)
After the concert performance of the 3rd act of Wagner's Parsifal in Basel Cathedral and at the Goetheanum, Sir Mark Elder devotes his Basel comeback this time to the 3rd act of Siegfried. It consists of a sequence of three musical duels not only of great voices but also of great ideas. "Do you know what Wotan wants?" the god disguised as a wanderer asks - at considerable volume - the omniscient primordial mother Erda, who really doesn't want to know any more about it. But even Wotan's will has limits: Recklessly, the wild Siegfried smashes his highly symbolic spear in order to fight his way free to Brünnhilde. In view of the fact that she is "not a man", however, even Siegfried no longer knows what he wants. This state of affairs does not last long: rejoicing and in the highest tones, the two finally devote themselves to "shining love", which is not far removed from "laughing death".
This concert will be accompanied by a discovery programme, the schedule of which will be announced in advance in the programme magazine.
Donnerstag, 23. März 19:30
Piotr Anderszewski, piano
Ivor Bolton, conductor
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827):
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 C major, op. 15 (1801)
César Franck (1822–1890):
Symphony D minor, FWV 48 (1888)
Beethoven began composing his 1st Piano Concerto shortly after moving from Bonn to Vienna in order to present his own virtuoso piano playing at his new place of work. Shortly before the premiere, Beethoven reported to his friend Franz Wegeler that he composed the finale "only in the afternoon two days before the performance [...] Four copyists sat in the hall and worked on the manuscript sheets, which I handed to them one after the other."
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.
Donnerstag, 29. Juni 19:30