Artists

Orchestra

25 - 26 Oct '18

Tour I
25 - 26 Oct '18

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

Tour

Concert dates and locations

  • 25 October 2018 | Tonhalle Maag Zurich | 19:30
  • 26 October 2018 | Victoria Hall Geneva | 20:00

Artists

Programme Zurich

 

Our new concert series presents the best winners of the Migros Culture Percentage Student Award and the Encouragement Award. Discover the Soloists of Tomorrow in short 30-minutes recitals that will start one hour before the following concerts: 28.11.2018, 27.1.2019, 22.3.2019 and 13.5.2019 in Lucerne, 25.10.2018, 27.11.2018, 26.1.2019, 20.3.2019, 9.4.2019 and 26.5.2019 in Zurich. Your season ticket or concert ticket entitles to a free admission for each of these concerts.

Our Soloists of Tomorrow
No one is a prophet in their own land: Geneva-born composer Ernest Bloch - who spent most of his life in the United States - couldn't have agreed more! Bloch studied in his hometown with Louis Rey (violin) and Emile Jaques-Dalcroze (composition), before making a name for himself as one of the most original composers of the first half of the 20th century, despite the fact that he didn't belong to any composition school or system. The Swiss composer preferred to tirelessly explore the musical wealth from the past and the present and found his own expression through a multitude of styles tinged with Germanic and French influences and marked by his Jewish identity. The Winter-Spring symphonic diptych is one of Bloch's first orchestral compositions. He began work on the piece in 1904 while still composing his opera "Macbeth" in Paris. These two small tone poems in three parts each were completed the following year in Geneva, where the author himself conducted their first performance on 27 January 1906. "The title is sufficient, I believe, to suggest the desired atmosphere: winter is sad and desperate, while spring is full of joy and hope" explained the composer, who added that these pieces "are neither classical nor particularly modern and are not intended to cause a sensation. I can only say that they were composed in a surge of sincerity and that they express an inner necessity." Bloch dedicated the work "to my dear wife" and revised it in 1934 before its first British performance.
Only the first of Bruch's three violin concertos has firmly established itself in the repertoire. The German musician was only 28 years old when he composed this work that draws its inspiration from Mendelssohn and Brahms. Bruch actually wrote his Concerto in G minor for the violinist Joseph Joachim, to whom Brahms had already dedicated his Concerto in D major. After Otto von Königslow had premiered the piece in 1866, Bruch set again to work on his concerto with the assistance of Joachim, who first performed the revised version in 1868. This very virtuoso concerto does not, however, have a great cadenza, nor did Bruch wish to have the soloist add one on his own initiative. The work also distinguishes itself by an original construction, beginning with a Prelude that flows through to the Adagio. This central movement gives free rein to a broad and ornate varied theme until it reaches its peak of intensity. The brilliant final movement is introduced by a new Prelude and takes on a passionate turn that is reminiscent of the gipsy manner that Brahms often referred to. Bruch had initially sold this score to the publisher Simrock but had kept a copy, which he gave to the pianist sisters Rose and Ottilie Sutro after the First World War. He had hoped that the sale of his concerto in the United States might improve his financial situation, but he died in 1920 before receiving any payment.
The E minor Symphony is often considered as Brahms' most "classical" symphony. It certainly is the strictest and the most concentrated of all four symphonies, although it did seem to cast some doubt in the musician's mind. Brahms had surrounded the composition with a certain amount of mystery, even suggesting that the work in progress could be a piano concerto! In fact, the composer busied himself during two consecutive summers with his Op. 98. The Allegro and Andante were written in 1884 during a stay in Styria, while the other two movements were completed the following summer. It is fortunate enough that the work ever got to be heard since the manuscript almost went up in flames in the fire that broke out in Brahms' summer residence! As usual, it was in Vienna that the composer gave a first private hearing of the work, in a transcription for two pianos that confused even his most faithful supporters. "You're too powerful!" complained his friend from Zurich, Theodore Billroth. Brahms chose not to change a single note, and after a careful preparation with the musicians, the Fourth Symphony was a resounding success when Brahms conducted its premiere in Meiningen. The work presents a serious and tormented mood. This is underlined by Brahms' choice of E minor, a very unusual key among symphonists. The last movement is modelled on a Chaconne and lines up 35 variations on a theme borrowed from Bach's Cantata BWV 150 "Nach dir, Herr".

Programme Geneva

No one is a prophet in their own land: Geneva-born composer Ernest Bloch - who spent most of his life in the United States - couldn't have agreed more! Bloch studied in his hometown with Louis Rey (violin) and Emile Jaques-Dalcroze (composition), before making a name for himself as one of the most original composers of the first half of the 20th century, despite the fact that he didn't belong to any composition school or system. The Swiss composer preferred to tirelessly explore the musical wealth from the past and the present and found his own expression through a multitude of styles tinged with Germanic and French influences and marked by his Jewish identity. The Winter-Spring symphonic diptych is one of Bloch's first orchestral compositions. He began work on the piece in 1904 while still composing his opera "Macbeth" in Paris. These two small tone poems in three parts each were completed the following year in Geneva, where the author himself conducted their first performance on 27 January 1906. "The title is sufficient, I believe, to suggest the desired atmosphere: winter is sad and desperate, while spring is full of joy and hope" explained the composer, who added that these pieces "are neither classical nor particularly modern and are not intended to cause a sensation. I can only say that they were composed in a surge of sincerity and that they express an inner necessity." Bloch dedicated the work "to my dear wife" and revised it in 1934 before its first British performance.
Only the first of Bruch's three violin concertos has firmly established itself in the repertoire. The German musician was only 28 years old when he composed this work that draws its inspiration from Mendelssohn and Brahms. Bruch actually wrote his Concerto in G minor for the violinist Joseph Joachim, to whom Brahms had already dedicated his Concerto in D major. After Otto von Königslow had premiered the piece in 1866, Bruch set again to work on his concerto with the assistance of Joachim, who first performed the revised version in 1868. This very virtuoso concerto does not, however, have a great cadenza, nor did Bruch wish to have the soloist add one on his own initiative. The work also distinguishes itself by an original construction, beginning with a Prelude that flows through to the Adagio. This central movement gives free rein to a broad and ornate varied theme until it reaches its peak of intensity. The brilliant final movement is introduced by a new Prelude and takes on a passionate turn that is reminiscent of the gipsy manner that Brahms often referred to. Bruch had initially sold this score to the publisher Simrock but had kept a copy, which he gave to the pianist sisters Rose and Ottilie Sutro after the First World War. He had hoped that the sale of his concerto in the United States might improve his financial situation, but he died in 1920 before receiving any payment.
The E minor Symphony is often considered as Brahms' most "classical" symphony. It certainly is the strictest and the most concentrated of all four symphonies, although it did seem to cast some doubt in the musician's mind. Brahms had surrounded the composition with a certain amount of mystery, even suggesting that the work in progress could be a piano concerto! In fact, the composer busied himself during two consecutive summers with his Op. 98. The Allegro and Andante were written in 1884 during a stay in Styria, while the other two movements were completed the following summer. It is fortunate enough that the work ever got to be heard since the manuscript almost went up in flames in the fire that broke out in Brahms' summer residence! As usual, it was in Vienna that the composer gave a first private hearing of the work, in a transcription for two pianos that confused even his most faithful supporters. "You're too powerful!" complained his friend from Zurich, Theodore Billroth. Brahms chose not to change a single note, and after a careful preparation with the musicians, the Fourth Symphony was a resounding success when Brahms conducted its premiere in Meiningen. The work presents a serious and tormented mood. This is underlined by Brahms' choice of E minor, a very unusual key among symphonists. The last movement is modelled on a Chaconne and lines up 35 variations on a theme borrowed from Bach's Cantata BWV 150 "Nach dir, Herr".

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Good to know

The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1918. It developed into one of the foremost orchestras of the Netherlands from 1930 onwards under Eduard Flipse, who remained Principal Conductor for three decades. In the 1970s, the orchestra gained international recognition with Jean Fournet and Edo de Waart. Their successors were David Zinman, James Conlon, Jeffrey Tate, Valery Gergiev and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Lahav Shani takes over as Principal Conductor as of the 2018-2019 centenary season. The home of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra is the De Doelen Concert Hall, but the orchestra frequently appears in other venues, both in the Netherlands and abroad. Since 2010, the Rotterdam Philharmonic is resident orchestra of the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. It also performs regularly with the Dutch National Opera. The Rotterdam Philharmonic has made a large number of critically acclaimed records. The orchestra releases its historical recordings under its own "Vintage" label.

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