Artists

Conductor

19 - 21 Oct '20

Tour I
19 - 21 Oct '20

Simone Young

Tour

Concert dates and locations

  • 19 October 2020 | Tonhalle Maag Zurich | 19:30
  • 20 October 2020 | Victoria Hall Geneva | 20:00
  • 21 October 2020 | Casino Bern | 19:30

Artists

Programme

In September 1850, Robert Schumann and his wife Clara left Dresden for Dusseldorf, where the composer succeeded Ferdinand Hiller as the municipal music director. In addition to conducting subscription concerts, Schumann's duties included church concerts, private lessons and setting up a chamber music society. This increased activity seems to have had a very positive effect on his composition. Within a short time, Schumann had written his Scenes from Goethe's Faust, the "Rhenish" Symphony, numerous songs and his Cello Concerto.
The latter is one of Schumann's seven concertante works, almost all of which were written during the musician's last creative period. Schumann was particularly fond of the cello (which he had played himself a little in the 1830s), as several of his chamber music pieces testify. However, he was never completely satisfied with his Cello Concerto, which he composed in just two weeks in the autumn of 1850. He made some changes to it four years later when he was already beginning to lose his sanity.As a result, the work wasn't premièred (by Ludwig Ebert) until four years after the composer's death. As a result, the work wasn't premiered (by Ludwig Ebert) until four years after the composer's death.
Because the concerto's three movements are played without interruption, the work is sometimes described as having a continuous structure. Schumann himself referred to the piece as a « Konzertstück » (concert piece), preferring freedom of expression to pure virtuosity. Nevertheless, the third movement, the only one with a cadenza (with orchestral accompaniment), draws extensively on the cello's technical resources.
Schubert's 6th Symphony was first performed publicly at the Society of Friends of Music in Vienna on 14 December 1828. Like all of Schubert's other symphonies, it premièred after his death. Indeed it wasn't published until much later (1895).
Following a series of sonatas and various other piano works, the 6th Symphony marks the culmination of Schubert's youthful efforts and anticipates the more assertive compositions to come. Schubert began working on this symphony in October 1817 and completed it in February of the following year. At the time, he was still only an assistant teacher and a musician in his spare time, living in a stifling family environment, albeit surrounded by friends who took a liking to his musical outpourings. In the manuscript, Schubert himself referred to this new composition as a "Grosse Sinfonie" (great symphony). But following the addition of the "Great Symphony" in C major (D. 944) to Schubert's catalogue, it has been customary to refer to his other work as the Little Symphony in C major. However, Schubert's designation is a true statement of fact, since the work differs from earlier symphonies in both scope and ambition.
The Symphony D. 589 opens with a slow, highly theatrical introduction, thus continuing a pattern that has already appeared in Schubert's first four symphonies For the first time in Schubert's symphonic output, the third movement is entitled Scherzo. Compared to the musician's earlier symphonies, this is the most unusual movement, which deliberately turns its back on the 18th century. The work also alludes to the Italian style that was sweeping the Austrian capital at the time and whose audiences were enraptured by Rossini's operas.

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Good to know

A former principal guest conductor of the OCL and the designated principal conductor (from 2022) of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australian Simone Young is one of the world's most prominent conductors. After completing her music studies in her native Sydney, she worked at the Cologne and Berlin opera houses before being appointed artistic director of the Hamburg Opera House and Philharmonic Orchestra for ten years (2005-2015). Simone Young is well known as a Wagner and Richard Strauss specialist and in great demand as a guest conductor at world-class opera houses in Vienna, Paris, London, New York, Munich and Zurich. She has also made a name for herself as a symphonic conductor and worked with many of the world's leading orchestras, including the Orchestre de Paris, the Wiener Symphoniker, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and major American and Australian orchestras. Her discography includes a recording of Wagner's Ring and several 20th-century operas.

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