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John Storgårds and Håkan HardenbergerGerman première

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Theater der Stadt SchweinfurtSchweinfurt, Bayern, Deutschland
Am Donnerstag 30 Januar 2020 um 19:30

As Ovid wrote: “Everything changes, nothing is lost.” In this concert, different centuries will take each other by the hand, subtly joining the threads of memory. While the trumpet concerto by the English composer Robin Holloway is brand new, Holloway always draws his inspiration from the rich legacy of the past, and this particular work is based upon Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”. It tells the tragic tale of the celestial hotspur Phaeton, the god Helios’s son, who tries in vain to control the chariot of the sun. This piece is dedicated to the star trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger, who will also be the soloist in tonight’s performance. Mozart’s symphony no. 26 was written in 1773 in the style of an Italian overture. Despite its overall briskness, it also contains pleading melodic gestures. These striking themes often occurred to Mozart while in the middle of doing other things – while journeying in a carriage, eating dinner or playing billiards. And seeing as he was always up for fun, he would certainly have been pleased by a joke as ingenious as Alfred Schnittke’s: the German-Russian composer wrote the witty “Moz-Art à la Haydn” in 1977. The piece pays its respects to these two composers of Viennese classicism by bringing echoes of their music together to create a colourful, tongue-in-cheek collage – until the musicians disappear from the stage one by one, like in Haydn’s famous “Farewell Symphony”. Brahms’s Variations likewise pay tribute to Haydn – even though it is still disputed whether Haydn really wrote the theme on which the variations are based: the “Divertimento in B flat” of 1785, including the stately melody of the “St. Antoni Chorale”. In 1873, Brahms drew on the Divertimento to create a magical, varied and profound orchestral study.

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