08/01/2017

Oostenrijks-Finse avond met Brussels Philharmonic & Leif Ove Andsnes in Bozar

Esa-Pekka Salonen Stéphane Denève, muzikaal directeur van het Brussels Philharmonic, heeft een Oostenrijks-Finse avond voor ons in petto. Op het programma staat onder meer een werk van dirigent en hedendaags componist Esa-Pekka Salonen. Jean Sibelius, de nationale trots van Finland, schreef met zijn Symfonie nr. 2 dan weer hét meesterwerk van de 'nationalistische romantiek’. Het Weense classicisme is op zijn beurt op briljante wijze vertegenwoordigd door het fantastische Pianoconcert nr. 20 van Mozart, een van de populairste concerto's - een genre waarin de componist uitblonk. Aan de piano zit niemand minder dan pianist Leif Ove Andsnes die, na een bijzonder geslaagde cd-opname, het oeuvre door en door kent.

Esa-Pekka Salonen (foto) en Jean Sibelius - ondanksde eeuwdie beide Finse componisten van elkaar scheidt, zijn er veel gelijkenissen: virtuoos, intens, eigenzinnig. Het duo wordt aangevuld met een andere ster uit het hoge noorden: Leif Ove Andsnes, die ‘één van de meest getalenteerde musici van zijn generatie’ wordt genoemd.

De antieke Griekse scheppingsverhalen inspireerden Esa-Pekka Salonen voor 'Nyx' (2011). In een krachtig orkestwerk vol snelle overgangen zoekt de componist rusteloos naar de schimmige oerfiguur uit de oude mythologie. Sibelius had al tijdens zijn leven de status van nationale held in Finland. Zijn 2de Symfonie start ingehouden en mondt uit in een grandioze finale, waardoor ze extra geliefd werd bij de Finse onafhankelijkheidsbeweging.

Esa-Pekka Salonen over Nyx : "Nyx is my return to the genre of pure orchestral music since Helix (2005). It employs a large orchestra, and has exposed concertante parts for solo clarinet and the horn section. Rather than utilizing the principle of continuous variation of material, as is the case mostly in my recent music, Nyx behaves rather differently. Its themes and ideas essentially keep their properties throughout the piece while the environment surrounding them keeps changing constantly. Mere whispers grow into roar; an intimate line of the solo clarinet becomes a slowly breathing broad melody of tutti strings at the end of the 18-minute arch of Nyx.

I set myself a particular challenge when starting the composition process, something I hadn't done earlier: to write complex counterpoint for almost one hundred musicians playing tutti at full throttle without losing clarity of the different layers and lines; something that Strauss and Mahler so perfectly mastered. Not an easy task, but a fascinating one. I leave it to the listener to judge how well I succeeded.

Nyx is a shadowy figure in Greek mythology. At the very beginning of everything there's a big mass of dark stuff called Chaos, out of which comes Gaia or Ge, the Earth, who gives birth (spontaneously!) to Uranus, the starry heaven, and Pontus, the sea. Nyx (also sometimes known as Nox) is supposed to have been another child of Gaia, along with Erebus. The union of Nyx and Erebus produces Day.

Another version says that Cronos (as Time) was there from the beginning. Chaos came from Time. Nyx was present as a sort of membrane surrounding Chaos, which had Phanes (Light) at its centre. The union of Nyx with Phanes produced Heaven & Earth.

She is an extremely nebulous figure altogether; we have no sense of her character or personality. It is this very quality that has long fascinated me and made me decide to name my new orchestral piece after her.

I’m not trying to describe this mythical goddess in any precise way musically. However, the almost constant flickering and rapid changing of textures and moods as well as a certain elusive character of many musical gestures may well be related to the subject.

I have always enjoyed the unrivalled dynamic range of a large symphony orchestra, but Nyx seems to take a somewhat new direction from my earlier orchestral music: there are many very delicate and light textures, chiaroscuro instead of details bathing in clear direct sunlight. I guess this is symptomatic of growing older as we realize there are no simple truths, no pure blacks and whites but an endless variety of half shades.

Nyx was commissioned by Radio France, the Barbican Centre, Atlanta Symphony, Carnegie Hall and the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE. It had its first performance in Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, in February 2011 in the final concert of the Festival Présences. The Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France was conducted by the composer.
" (*)

Programma :

  • Esa-Pekka Salonen, Nyx (2011)
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 20. Klavierkonzert in d-Moll, KV 466
  • Jean Sibelius, Symfonie nr. 2 in D, op. 43

Praktische info :

Brussels Philharmonic & Leif Ove Andsnes : Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mozart, Sibelius
Zaterdag 14 februari 2017 om 20.00 u
Bozar - Brussel


Meer info : www.bozar.be en www.brusselsphilharmonic.be

Extra :
Esa-Pekka Salonen : www.esapekkasalonen.co.uk, www.musicsalesclassical.com (*) en youtube

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