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Nikolaj Znaider conducts Wagner, Mozart and Elgar

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Konzerthalle Bamberg: Joseph Keilberth SaalMußstr. 1, Bamberg, Bavaria, 96047, Germany
On Sunday 24 November 2019 at 17:00

“Do not disdain the masters, and honour art!” Thus the admonition in Wagner’s “Mastersingers”, which was premiered in 1868. This opera is all about a musical competition in idyllic medieval Nuremberg – and cleverly satirizes the structures of the art establishment. In musical terms, it unites the ancient art of the mastersingers and the new art of romanticism, leading Friedrich Nietzsche to comment: “It is both of the day before yesterday and of the day after tomorrow.” Mozart likewise initially drew on what he found: during his travels, he heard a lot of music, which he then used to create his very own musical language. In our concert, Sergei Babayan will interpret Mozart’s last great piano concerto of 1786 – which sounds as if Mozart had composed it with one laughing and one weeping eye.

In addition, we will play a very special commemorative work – Edward Elgar’s 1899 “Enigma Variations”. The score looks like a sketchbook in musical form: in these “Variations on an Original Theme”, Elgar portrays the idiosyncrasies and characteristics of his wife, his closest friends, himself – and even a dog! While many of this musical riddle’s secret messages have been decoded, others have not – for Elgar spoke of another theme that is not played, which continues to puzzle the scholars searching for it to this very day. The work to be premiered as an “encore” will be revealed at a later point. It is written by the Greek composer Konstantia Gourzi – whose artistic vision aims to create links between different cultures and musical traditions across time and space.

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