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Lahav Shani conducts Dvořák and Rachmaninow

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Konzerthalle Bamberg: Joseph Keilberth SaalMußstr. 1, Bamberg, Bavaria, 96047, Germany
2020 February 21, 22 at 20:00

“A composer’s music should express the country of his birth, his love affairs, his religion, the books that have influenced him, the images he loves. It should be the product of the sum total of the composer’s experience.” Rachmaninov always held fast to this artistic creed. But before we dive into his worlds of sound under the baton of Lahav Shani, we will first perform a spirited work from our Bohemian home: in 1892, shortly before embarking upon his great journey to New York, Dvořák composed a cycle of concert overtures that he initially wanted to call “Nature, Love and Life”. The second part became a tribute to the “Masopust”, the Czech carnival that each year transforms Prague into a colourful sea of fanciful masks and vivid costumes. The resulting work describes the “feelings of a person drawn into life’s swirling, joyful rapture”. Next, we will welcome our guest Anna Vinnitskaja to the stage. She will perform the virtuoso “Paganini Variations”, based on the famous catchy theme of the A minor Caprice by the “devil’s violinist”. Rachmaninov composed this devilishly challenging masterpiece, which like many of his works contains the “Dies irae” sequence from the Latin requiem, in 1934 in exile in Switzerland. He wrote his orchestral swansong, the “Symphonic Dances”, in America six years later as a last greeting to the Russian homeland he missed so much. This pessimistic work is a dark symphony of farewell, which like a panorama defiantly quotes from his own compositions – the retrospective of a life full of challenges. As Jean Paul wrote: “Memory is the only paradise from which we can never be driven.”

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